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HomeNewsIll Bills: Whistleblower Awarded for Exposing Durable Medical Equipment Company’s False Billing Scheme

Ill Bills: Whistleblower Awarded for Exposing Durable Medical Equipment Company’s False Billing Scheme

Date Published
Feb 06, 2024

FEBRUARY 6, 2024. Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc., Hill-Rom Company, Inc., Hill-Rom Services, Inc., and Advanced Respiratory Inc. (collectively, Hillrom), a collective of Durable Medical Equipment providers, have agreed to pay $2.1 million to resolve claims that they submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The suit was brought by a whistleblower, who will receive 21% of the settlement for their efforts.

From January 2011 to December 2019, Hillrom allegedly sold used medical beds but their bills to federal healthcare programs stated they were new. Hillrom would also sell these beds and other pressure support surfaces to beneficiaries of federal healthcare programs under a miscellaneous code instead of the proper one, leading to instances where the government would pay more than the actual price. In addition to this, Hillrom presented claims to the federal government and federal contractors that improperly billed travel time as time spent repairing Durable Medical Equipment. In doing so, Hillrom was able to receive reimbursement from federal healthcare programs that they did not deserve.

Regarding the case, the Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) stated, “We expect health care providers who serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to refrain from harming the integrity of the programs on which their patients rely. Billing in any fashion that results in overpayment from the programs threatens that integrity.”

Similarly, the Special Agent in Charge, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office said, “Hill-Rom threatened the integrity of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) TRICARE program by attempting to profit from false billing.”

The settlement is the result of a lawsuit brought by a courageous whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claim Act. The whistleblower, Jerri Harris, is a former employee of Hillrom and will receive an award of $441,000 as a part of the settlement.

If you would like to report healthcare fraud, including Medicare or TRICARE fraud, you can contact attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP. Eva Gunasekera and Renée Brooker are former officials of the United States Department of Justice and prosecuted whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act. Renée served as Assistant Director at the United States Department of Justice, the office that supervises False Claims Act cases in all 94 United States District Courts. Eva was the Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud. Eva and Renée now represent whistleblowers. For a free consultation, you can contact Renée at[email protected] (tel.: 202-417-3664) or contact Eva Gunasekera at [email protected]. You can also go to Tycko & Zavareei LLP’s website for whistleblowers to learn more at 

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