Home Healthcare Provider Pays $150 Million to Settle Medicare Fraud Claims
Amedisys Inc. has agreed to pay $150 million to settle a qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company submitted false claims to Medicare for home healthcare services.
Nurses, therapists, and other former employees brought the lawsuits on behalf of the federal government alleging that the home healthcare provider billed Medicare for patients and services that were not eligible for reimbursement.
Under the False Claims Act, individuals who help stop Medicare fraud are entitled to a whistleblower reward of between 15% and 30% of the amount the government recovers. To earn the whistleblower reward, the individuals bring the lawsuit “under seal” (in secret) and give their evidence to the government. The government then decides whether to pursue the claims.
In this case, the former employees claimed that the home healthcare provider billed Medicare for therapy and nursing services that were medically unnecessary. The former employees claimed that their employer misrepresented that patients were homebound, when they were not, and misrepresented the patients’ medical conditions to increase payments from Medicare.
The whistleblowers alleged that company management pressured therapists and nurses to provide care based on the ability to get reimbursed from Medicare instead of the best interests of the patients.
The whistleblowers also alleged that the home healthcare company provided services to an oncology practice at below-market prices in return for patient referrals. Providing anything of value in return for referrals of Medicare patients violates the Anti-Kickback statute.
In return for helping the federal government win the lawsuit, the whistleblowers will share a $26 million whistleblower reward.
If you have evidence that a home healthcare provider is overbilling Medicare or otherwise engaged in fraud, then you should consult with an experienced whistleblower lawyer immediately to protect your rights.
You may be entitled to a substantial whistleblower reward and legal protections.
The consultation is free and confidential. No attorneys’ fees are charged unless your case is successful.
To arrange a free consultation with an experienced whistleblower lawyer, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728 or click here to reach our law offices via email.
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