Florida-based hospice company Hospice of Citrus County agreed to pay roughly $3 million to settle charges the company violated the False Claims Act by knowingly billing Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary and undocumented hospice services. The allegations resolved included liability under the False Claims Act. Specifically, the government alleged the company treated at least 52 patients with lengths of stay in excess of 1,000 days and either knowingly or recklessly failed to document a valid basis for the initial start of hospice care and/or subsequent hospice coverage. The failure in documentation included no support for the length of hospice services; patient files that failed to document basic patient characteristics; and patient records that were either unsigned or signed with inconsistent practitioner information. In some cases, patients were admitted to HOCC simply because their spouse was in hospice care. DOJ (MDFL)
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