Navigation Links
Alabama-Based Hospice Company Pays U.S. $24.7 Million to Settle Health Care Fraud Claims

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:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Curly Hair Solutions® is thrilled to be a ... featuring the newest products and services to hit the market for women. With ... to unveil their recent partnership with Trade Secrets, a leading Canadian beauty retailer. ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... TN (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... recipients of its biannual Heroes in Recovery Awards at Foundations Recovery Network’s Moments ... Recovery Network presented the one-of-a-kind awards to Noah Levine and Dean Dauphinais who ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... According to an article from ... particularly in the area of track and field, are at a significantly higher ... peers in the same age group. Dr. Steven Meier of Meier Orthopedic Sports ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s ... by opening its 151st medical center. Located at 606A Boll Weevil Circle in Enterprise, ... continue fulfilling our mission of making quality health care accessible and economical with the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ROSA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... (DSM) at no charge to qualified Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in order to ... insight and analysis into their decision making process. In addition, the DSM is also ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... COSTA MESA, Calif. , Oct. 12, 2015 ... reaffirmed the accreditation of Harbor Compounding Pharmacy in ... accreditation is awarded in recognition of the pharmacy,s ... --> ... --> ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... and Chief Scientific Officer of Asterias Biotherapeutics, ... company in the emerging field of regenerative ... webcast, sponsored in part by Asterias Biotherapeutics, ... Lebkowski will discuss the progress to date ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  In a Sutter ... the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, the blood ... brain atrophy and cognitive decline in patients in the ... --> --> IVIG, extracted from the ... to amyloid, an abnormal brain protein found in patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: