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5 Family Medical Center offices to close next month

Staff Report //April 20, 2018//

5 Family Medical Center offices to close next month

Staff Report //April 20, 2018//

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In the wake of a $2 million settlement, Family Medical Center LLC will close its five Columbia locations at the end of May.

FMC of South Carolina reached a settlement with the federal government in September over accusations of false Medicare and TRICARE billings. The company called the settlement a business decision designed to avoid more years of litigation.

The five offices expected to close are Springwood Lake Family Medicine, Saluda Pointe Family Medicine, Midtown Family Medicine, Lake Murray Family Medicine and Woodhill Family Medicine.

The Department of Justice said in September that there was no determination of liability on the part of the company, and the claims resolved were “allegations only.”

Company co-founder Peter Stahl said many FMC physicians and nurse practitioners intend to continue practicing in the Columbia area, some in the same buildings that closing.

“Roughly a dozen physicians in the group will be starting five independent practices,” Stahl said. “We wanted to do this in an orderly fashion, but that’s not possible due to the goings-on financially.”

According to the FMC website, four doctors plan to open a new group called The Practice June 1. Doctors David Morris, William Crigler, John Mattei and Achu Mofor will be practicing at 1910 Gregg St., which housed the former Midtown Family Medicine.

Stahl said FMC co-owner and former CEO Dr. Stephen Serbin, who agreed to have nothing to do with the practice for five years as part of the settlement, will open an independent practice at the group’s former Springwood location.

Stahl said he will retire.

Closing was not the first option, Stahl said. He said the practice looked to forge an alliance with one of the state’s hospital systems, but none would sign off on an agreement because of the “baggage” of the settlement.