Headlines for Monday, November 2, 2015

Several Illinois hospitals, including St. Mary’s in Mount Vernon and Centralia are among nearly 500 around the country involved in a $250 million settlement with the government over Medicare billing for cardiac devices. The eight affiliated hospitals of SSM Health Care in Illinois and Missouri will pay a total of $4.1 million as part of the settlement. The Justice Department said the hospitals were not eligible for reimbursement for the $25,000 electronic defibrillators because they were implanted too soon after a patient suffered a heart attack or bypass surgery.

Carmi-based Elastec has developed a device that is being deployed to keep the floating aquatic plant Sargassum from washing ashore, fouling tourist beaches. The seaweed has been invading resorts and private beaches in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida. The boom keeps the seaweed offshore where the currents can carry it away.

Illinois residents who don’t get health coverage at work have another chance to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. A third enrollment period started Sunday.

Illinois State Police Troopers will be conducting seat belt details in Wayne, White, Saline and Gallatin Counties during the month of November. Troopers will be assigned to saturation patrols to crack down on motorists who do not buckle up.

A judge has dismissed the first class-action concussion lawsuit in the nation against a prep sports governing body. A judge in Cook County threw out the case that had been filed against the Illinois High School Association. IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman says the issue is best handled outside the courts.