Phoenix-based Serenity Hospice and Palliative Care agreed to pay $2.2 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false bills to Medicare for hospice services. In addition, Ruth Siegel, a former nurse and the founder and former president of Serenity, agreed to be excluded from Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal health care programs for five years. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Cheryl Sifford under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. She will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award from the government’s recovery. DOJ (AZ)
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