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This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to Medicare and fraud in the Medicare program. You may also be interested in our pages:

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September 3, 2020

Two affiliates of Independence Blue Cross, Keystone Health Plan East, Inc. and QCC Insurance Company, Inc., which offer Part C Medicare Advantage plans, agreed to pay $2.25 million to resolve allegations that they overstated their costs when they submitted bids to CMS for contract years 2009 and 2010.  As a result, CMS reimbursed them at at an inflated rate.  The matter was initiated by the filing a qui tam complaint under the False Claims act by Eric Johnson, who will receive $500,000 from the recovery.  USAO EDPA

August 24, 2020

Following a whistleblower suit by a former sales representative, DUSA Pharmaceuticals (DUSA), a Massachusetts-based subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Inc. (Sun Pharma), has agreed to pay $20.75 million to resolve allegations of defrauding Medicare and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Pr­­­ogram.  According to relator Aaron Chung, senior management at DUSA and Sun Pharma allegedly encouraged doctors, via paid speaker programs and discussions, to use shorter incubation periods of 1-3 hours for Levulan Kerastick, a topical prescription medication for treating actinic keratosis (AK) of the face and scalp that had FDA-approved instructions for 14-18 hour incubation periods.  As expected, the significantly reduced incubation periods resulted in significantly reduced AK clearance rates, yet DUSA failed to inform doctors of the lower rates and even actively misinformed them that AK clearance rates were the same regardless of incubation period.  For exposing the fraudulent conduct, Chung will receive approximately $3.5 million of the settlement proceeds.  DOJ; USAO WDWA

Windfall to Health Insurers Due to COVID-19 Is Not Yet Resulting in Resolution of FCA Risk Adjustment Cases

Posted  08/21/20
By Edward Baker
As health insurers book record profits during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a dramatic decline in elective surgeries and procedures, this seems like a good time to ask about the status of False Claims Act litigation against Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) relating to risk adjustment fraud.  Given the dire shortfall in state and federal money to fight the pandemic, when will MAOs begin paying back the billions...

August 21, 2020

A Georgia-based chiropractor and her medical practice have been ordered to pay more than $5 million for violating the False Claims Act.  The government alleged that Dr. Jennifer Heller, D.C. caused Medicare to pay $1.4 million more than it would have had it known that hundreds of Heller’s charges for a surgical neurostimulator procedure were in actuality for acupuncture devices, which are not covered by Medicare, and which do not require surgery.  To resolve the charges, Heller Family Medicine, LLC will have to pay $4.3 million, while Heller herself will have to pay $700,000.  USAO SDGA

August 13, 2020

Advanced Care Scripts, Inc. (ACS) has agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations of conspiring with Teva Neuroscience, Inc. (Teva) to pay kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in order to induce purchases of Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone.  The kickbacks came in the form of effectively covering beneficiaries’ co-pays through correlated payments to the Chronic Disease Foundation (CDF) and The Assistance Fund (TAF).  USAO MA

OIG Audit Suggests Home Health Agencies Submit Unsupported Visits to Trigger Higher Medicare Reimbursement

Posted  07/31/20
visiting nurse with elder woman sitting on a couch
OIG released results from its targeted audit of certain home health care claims submitted for payment and found $191.8 million of overpayments in 2017 alone. OIG's objective was to determine whether payments for home health services with five to seven visits in a payment episode complied with Medicare requirements. During the 2017 audit period, under Medicare's home health prospective payment system, home health...

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

July 8, 2020

An orthopedic hospital, its management company, a physician’s group, and two physicians have agreed to pay $72.3 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations under the Anti-Kickback Statute, federal False Claims Act, and Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.  Between 2006 and 2018, the Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery (OCOM) and its part-owner and management company, USP OKC, Inc. and USP OKC Manager, Inc. (collectively USP), allegedly provided free or below-fair market rate services and compensation to Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC (SOS), including SOS physicians Anthony Cruse, D.O., and R.J. Langerman, Jr., D.O., in exchange for patient referrals.  USP also allegedly offered preferential investment opportunities to physicians in Texas.  As part of the settlement, USP will pay $60.86 million to the United States, $5 million to the State of Oklahoma, and $206,000 to the State of Texas, while SOS and its physician defendants will pay $5.7 million to the United States and $495,619 to the State of Oklahoma.  DOJ
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