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State's hospital audits increase to 129

Gov. Rick Scott has asked the Agency for Health Care Administration to investigate nearly 100 more hospitals than initially announced for receiving more in Medicaid payments than is legally allowed.

In a letter asking Attorney General Pam Bondi for the state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's support, Scott lists 129 hospitals that are being audited. Twenty-nine of them did not respond on-time to a request for information about Medicaid contracts. The remainder "warrant an audit to verify compliance with state law because of the nature of the explanations they provided in their responses," the letter says.

Scott and AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek asked hospitals and insurance plans for details of their contracts, concerned that they violated state-mandated maximum costs.

Audits were announced earlier this month for 31 hospitals. The new list, four times as long as the original, was made after AHCA did initial reviews of information submitted by hospitals.

Although many hospitals responded on time, AHCA is verifying the information some of those hospitals provided.

Several of the hospitals being audited are part of HCA, the company Scott ran as CEO, which paid out one of the largest Medicaid fraud settlements in U.S. history.