Navigation Links
Alabama-Based Hospice Company Pays U.S. $24.7 Million to Settle Health Care Fraud Claims
Date:1/15/2009

Company Locations in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SouthernCare Inc. and its shareholders have agreed to pay the United States a total of $24.7 million to settle allegations that the Birmingham, Ala.-based company submitted false claims to the government for patients treated at its hospice facilities, the Justice Department announced today. SouthernCare operates approximately 99 locations that provide hospice services in 15 states.

Hospices provide palliative care - any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of a disease's symptoms - to patients who decide to forego curative care of their illness. Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to hospice care if they have a terminal prognosis of six months or less to live. The government alleged that SouthernCare was submitting false claims for hospice care for patients who were not eligible for such care.

"The Medicare hospice benefit is intended to provide compassionate end of life care to terminally ill patients," said Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division. "This settlement sends a clear message that the Department of Justice will not allow health care providers to take advantage of beneficiaries in their attempts to game the reimbursement system."

Today's settlement results from two qui tam suits filed by two former SouthernCare employees, Tanya Rice and Nancy Romeo, on behalf of the United States. The False Claims Act authorizes private parties to file suit against those who defraud the United States and to receive a share of any recovery. The United States will pay $4.9 million to the individuals who filed the actions against SouthernCare.

"Our investigation showed a pattern and practice to falsely admit patients to hospice care who did not qualify and to bill Medicare for that care. This resulted in taxpayers bearing inappropriate costs. Today's settlement evidences the Department of Justice's efforts to both protect the public monies and safeguard Medicare beneficiaries," said Alice H. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

"This significant settlement demonstrates our commitment to protect the Medicare trust fund from fraud and abuse and to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive quality care," said David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. "Every provider that submits claims to the Medicare program must ensure that its services are billed appropriately. Falsely admitting people to hospice care who did not qualify for the benefit exposed these patients to potential harm and contributes to the soaring costs of health care for everyone."

As part of the settlement, SouthernCare will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to address the allegations raised in the qui tam complaints.

"Today's Corporate Integrity Agreement contains rigorous provisions specifically designed to ensure SouthernCare's future compliance with Medicare and Medicaid hospice eligibility requirements," said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General for HHS. "This agreement demonstrates OIG's commitment to protect the integrity of federal health care programs."

The investigation was jointly handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the Justice Department's Civil Division, Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI.


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Members Take Their Case to Capitol Hill
2. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Joins Sens. Susan Collins and Bob Casey and Reps. Jim McGovern and Walter Jones in Urging Access to Home Health Care
3. U.S. Celebrates National Home Care and Hospice Month in November
4. Delaware Hospice Honors President and CEO Susan D. Lloyd, MSN, RN
5. Hospice Caring, Inc. Earns Seal of Excellence and Elects New Board Member
6. Hospice: An Overlooked Option
7. Hospice and palliative care providers unite to discuss
8. Cultural Beliefs May Keep Blacks From Hospice Care
9. Hospice Community to Focus on Advocacy at National Leadership Conference
10. $250,000 Grant Awarded to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization from Technology Grant Program
11. The Readers Digest Foundation to Donate $100,000 to National Hospice Foundation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking for ... may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a ... pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... partnership with ChildLight Yoga Studio in Dover, NH to direct high-performance kids yoga training. ... on New Hampshire’s seacoast, just one hour from Boston. , ChildLight Yoga Studio founder ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Give To Cure today announced that it is working with ... campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find cures faster for Alzheimer’s Disease. ... device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in transactions among users. , Give ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Dr. Justin Scott and Dr. Lydia Muccioli of Pure Dental Health ... need. The event is scheduled to take place on February 27, 2016 from 9am ... care to community members in need. Each patient will be given the opportunity to ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... In sleep, when the defenses of the day are ... of patients with eating disorders is significant self-criticism, and consequently these patients experience this ... regarded as maladaptive means for coping with this unease, but also leads to a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015 ... - Pipeline Review, H2 2015, provides an overview ... report provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic development ... various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism ... molecule type, along with latest updates, and featured ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Global Immunology Market to ... drive long-term market growth Summary Immune-mediated ... chronic disorders that affect 5–7% of western populations. ... their symptoms and key patient demographics, they are ... pathways and an inappropriate immune response. Generally, disease-modifying ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE: ... 2015.  Provided below are the highlights: , ... compared with the prior year.  Reported sales decreased 3% ... quarter. , Net earnings per diluted share as ... prior- year period.  Adjusted EPS was $4.65, an increase ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: