November 24, 2020
Florida-based Doctor’s Choice Home Care, Inc.
and its founders and former top executives Timothy Beach
and Stuart Christensen
have agreed to pay a combined $5.15 million
to settle qui tam
suits filed under the False Claims Act by former employees—one by Corina Herbold, and the other by Sara Billings, Misty Sykes, and Marina Eschoyez-Quiroga. In violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law, the home health agency had allegedly set up sham medical director agreements with physicians to pay them for referrals, linked employee bonuses to referrals made by physician spouses, and provided medically unnecessary services to Medicare patients in order to avoid decreased reimbursements triggered by fewer than five skilled service visits. To settle the allegations, Doctor’s Choice will pay over $4.5 million, while Beach and Christensen will pay $647,000 each. Billings, Sykes, and Eschoyez-Quiroga will jointly receive $145,000 of the settlement proceeds; Herbold’s share has yet to be determined. DOJ
; USAO MDFL