LHC Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest home healthcare providers, has agreed to pay the United States government $65 million to settle allegations brought against the company under the False Claims Act. LHC was accused of submitting false bills for its services to Medicare, TRICARE, and Federal Employees Health Benefits programs.
Based in Louisiana, LHC Group is one of the leading providers of home healthcare services, with 312 locations in 19 states. According to allegations, between 2006 and 2008 the company billed government programs for services that were medically unnecessary and for services given to patients who were not receiving home healthcare. These types of actions can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, since they end up paying for unnecessary services. In addition to the money LHC is giving to the government in settlement, the company has also signed a Corporate Integrity Agreement. As part of this agreement LHC will receive regular auditing and monitoring, implement a training program for its staff on record keeping requirements, establish an internal compliance department, and create an employee evaluation program combining performance reviews with compliance.
The government was made aware of LHC’s fraud by whistleblower Judy Master. Master discovered the fraud while she worked for a consulting firm LHC had used. She will be receiving over $12 million from the settlement. This money is her compensation for bringing the fraud to the government’s attention. Whistleblowers can receive between 15% and 30% of the amount the government recovers in successful qui tam lawsuits.
Healthcare fraud is perhaps the most pervasive and costly kind of fraud against the Government. And it manifests itself in any number of ways: from upcoding and miscoding medical procedures to illegal kickbacks paid to physicians and hospitals. For more information regarding the various categories of healthcare fraud, please click on the following link: http://www.fraudfighters.net/false-claims-act-fraud/healthcare-fraud/.
If you are aware of healthcare fraud, you have options for how to go about stopping it! Our law firm represents whistleblowers in qui tam cases that expose fraud and we can help you. For more information, please see our FraudFighters website (http://www.fraudfighters.net/) or contact us today.