The Department of Justice recently announced that Hospice of the Comforter, Inc. (HOTCI) has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by one of its former employees.
According the allegations raised in this False Claims Act lawsuit, HOTCI submitted false claims to Medicare for hospice services. These claims violated the Medicare rules which provide for benefits for hospice services rendered to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. The whistleblower exposed practices that included falsifying medical records to give the appearance that patients were eligible for benefits, admitting patients who did not qualify for the Medicare hospice benefit, and limiting physicians’ ability to assess the patients’ terminal status.
Pursuant to the False Claims Act qui tam provisions, the whistleblower who filed this lawsuit will share in the government’s recovery. The amount of the whistleblower’s share in this case has not been announced.
For more information on this case, click here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/November/13-civ-1179.html