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December 21, 2020

Posted  December 21, 2020

DME provider Apria Healthcare Group, Inc. and Apria Healthcare LLC will pay $40.5 million to settle allegations brought in a qui tam action filed by three former Apria employees that they improperly billed government healthcare programs for beneficiary rentals of non-invasive ventilators (“NIVs”) that were not medically necessary or which were provided with improper waivers of patient co-payments.  Medicare pays as much as $1,400 a month for NIVs, and providers are required to monitor patient usage of NIVs and stop billing when the NIVs are no longer being used.  Apria respiratory therapists failed to monitor patient NIV usage and even when Apria knew that patients were no longer using the NIVs, Apria often did not take steps to stop seeking payment.  In addition, Apria sales staff steered doctors and beneficiaries to use NIVs when less-expensive alternatives were available, and routinely waived co-payments for NIV patients without making an assessment of the patient’s financial need.  USAO SDNY; CA AG; FL AG

Tagged in: FCA Federal, Healthcare Fraud, Lack of Medical Necessity, Medicaid, Medical Billing Fraud, Medical Devices and DME, Whistleblower Case,