ATLANTA (AP) - A federal whistleblower lawsuit alleges that two large hospital operators paid kickbacks to clinics that directed expectant mothers living in the country illegally to their hospitals and filed fraudulent Medicaid claims on those patients.

ATLANTA (AP) A federal whistleblower lawsuit alleges that two large hospital operators paid kickbacks to clinics that directed expectant mothers living in the country illegally to their hospitals and filed fraudulent Medicaid claims on those patients.

The suit alleges that Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates and Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. and their affiliates entered into contracts with clinics operated by Hispanic Medical Management and Clinica de la Mama and their affiliates.

An HMA representative said in an email that the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Tenet issued a statement on behalf of its hospitals named in the lawsuit saying it believes the agreements "were appropriate and provided substantial benefit to women in underserved Hispanic communities served by those hospitals.

Phone numbers for Hispanic Medical Management and Clinica de la Mama could not immediately be found.