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Lack of Medical Necessity

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud arising from medically unnecessary healthcare services. You may also be interested in our pages:

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September 3, 2020

Having previously pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and related charges, Arizona urgent care provider UCXtra Umbrella, LLC, which did business as "Urgent Care Extra," was sentenced to pay restitution of $12.5 million.  Defendant admitted that it ordered tests and procedures that were not medically necessary and that its billings intentionally overstated the complexity of services to patients in order to receive inflated reimbursements from private insurance companies. USAO AZ

July 24, 2020

Several divisions of pharmaceutical company Indivior, which marketed of the opioid-addiction drug Suboxone, pleaded guilty to felony healthcare fraud, entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, and will pay a total of $600 million in criminal fines, restitution, civil damages, and penalties.  In six separate cases brought by whistleblowers, Indivior was also alleged to have caused false claims to be submitted to government healthcare programs including by promoting the sale of Suboxone to physicians who were prescribing it outside of medically accepted indication, misrepresenting the likelihood of Suboxone being diverted, and taking steps to delay generic competition for Suboxone. Indivior admitted making false statements about the safety of the film version of Suboxone in order to promote its sale.  In addition, the FTC claimed that violated antitrust laws through a deceptive scheme to thwart lower priced generic competition with Suboxone.  The total settlement consists of criminal restitution of $289 million; a civil settlement of $300 million, with $209.3 million paid to resolve claims by the federal government and $90.7 million to participating states; and, $10 million in penalties to the Federal Trade Commission.  The settlement also requires Indivior to take steps including the dissolution of its Suboxone sales force. Indivior was until 2014 a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, which previously paid $1.4 billion to resolve claims related to Suboxone marketing.  DOJ; USAO NJ; FTC

July 23, 2020

Two pharmacists who were co-owners of Advantage Pharmacy in Mississippi have been sentenced to over 12 years in prison each and ordered to pay between $9 million and $29 million in civil monetary judgment, and between $185 million and $189 million in restitution for committing healthcare fraud.  According to the press release, Glenn Doyle Beach and Hope Thomley marketed, dispensed, and distributed compounded medications without regard to medical necessity, causing various health benefit programs, including TRICARE, to pay over $200 million in reimbursements.  Thomley’s husband, Randy Thomley, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay judgment and restitution of $3.6 million each for his role in helping to recruit TRICARE beneficiaries.  USAO SDMS

July 13, 2020

Longwood Management Company and 27 affiliated skilled nursing facilities have agreed to pay $16.7 million to resolve allegations raised by whistleblowers Judy Boyce, Benjamin Monsod, and Keith Pennetti in two separate qui tam filings, that six Longwood facilities knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare.  Between 2018 to 2012, Longwood allegedly pressured its rehabilitation therapists to increase the amount of therapy provided to Medicare Part A patients, regardless of medical necessity, so it could claim Ultra High levels of service, which are reimbursed at the highest rate.  As part of the settlement, Longwood will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, and Boyce, Monsod, and Pennetti will share a $3 million award.  DOJ; USDC CDCA

July 10, 2020

Universal Health Services, Inc. and UHS of Delaware, Inc. (collectively, UHS), and a Georgia-based UHS facility, Turning Point Care Center, LLC, have agreed to pay a combined $122 million to settle 18 qui tam cases pending in four jurisdictions.  In violation of the False Claims Act, UHS allegedly billed federal healthcare programs—including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit programs—for medically unnecessary inpatient behavioral health services, failed to provide adequate or appropriate services, and paid illegal inducements to beneficiaries of those programs.  UHS will pay over $88 million to the federal government and nearly $29 million to individual states, for a combined penalty of $117 million, with a relator share of about $15.8 million.  Turning Point will pay $5 million to the federal government and the State of Georgia; the whistleblower in that case will receive $861,853.64.  USAO MDFL; USAO NDGA; USAO EDPA; AG FL; AG MI; AG NC; AG VA

July 8, 2020

A Florida-based nonprofit that provides hospice care, palliative care, and other services to the elderly, has agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve its liability under the False Claims Act.  According to former Director of Hospice Care, Margaret Peters, Hope Hospice knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE for medically unnecessary but highly reimbursed general inpatient (GIP) hospice services over a five year period.  For blowing the whistle on the alleged fraud, Peters will receive a 19% share of the settlement.  USAO MDFL

Visiting Nurse Service of New York – Medicare/Medicaid Home Health Care Fraud ($57 million)

Constantine Cannon represented whistleblower Edward Lacey against Visiting Nurse Service of New York – the largest not-for-profit home health care agency in the United States.  VNSNY agreed to pay $57 million to resolve allegations it failed to provide home health care visits and services to tens of thousands of New Yorkers and fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid.  Mr. Lacey was an executive at VNSNY for 16 years.  In his complaint, Mr. Lacey alleged that VNSNY failed to provide its patients all the critical nursing and therapy visits and services their doctors prescribed under the patient Plans of Care.  He contended that by failing to provide this care, VNSNY endangered the welfare of tens of thousands of its patients while maximizing the company's Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.  Mr. Lacey's claims concerning alleged Plan of Care failures impact the entire home health care industry.  This is the first reported False Claims Act settlement involving allegations of a home health agency failing to follow patient Plans of Care.  It also is the largest non-kickback False Claims Act settlement ever against a home health care company and the second largest settlement of any home health care fraud case.  Read more: Press Release; Whistleblower Insider.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York Settles Whistleblower Case Brought by Constantine Cannon Client for $57 Million

Posted  06/26/20
hand holding hospice patients hand
Constantine Cannon is pleased to announce a $57 million settlement of the False Claims Act lawsuit its whistleblower client brought against the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY).  VNSNY is the largest not-for-profit home health care agency in the country, serving roughly 150,000 patients a year in New York, most of whom are elderly and/or disabled. The whistleblower, Edward Lacey, was an executive at...

June 25, 2020

George Philip Tompkins of Houston, Texas, the former owner of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to ten years in prison following his conviction on charges of healthcare fraud, unlawful kickbacks, money laundering, and wire fraud.  Tompkins billed $21.8 million to federal and state worker’s compensation programs for medically unnecessary compound gels and creams, paying kickbacks to generate prescriptions while claiming that the kickbacks were legitimate marketing expenses. Thompson was also ordered to pay restitution of $12.3 million. DOJ

June 24, 2020

Augusta University Medical Center (AUMC) has agreed to pay $2.6 million to resolve fraud allegations by the United States, State of Georgia, and State of South Carolina under state and federal False Claims Acts.  According to the government, AUMC knowingly submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for a medically unnecessary procedure that was billed as a covered procedure.  USAO SDGA
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