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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – Broward Health has agreed to pay nearly $70 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the hospital district of having improper financial relationships with doctors who referred patients to the district.

Federal officials said Tuesday the case involved inflated salaries to nine physicians by the North Broward Hospital District, which operates several health facilities. U.S. law restricts the financial relationships hospitals can have with referring doctors under Medicare and Medicaid.

The lawsuit was originally filed under the False Claims Act by Dr. Michael Reilly, who was joined by the Justice Department. That law allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the government and receive a part of the settlement. Reilly will get more than $12 million.

The settlement does not include an admission of liability by the hospital district.

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