LHC Group to Pay $65 Million to Settle False Claims Inquiry

On Friday September 30, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that home health provider LHC Group, Inc. (“LHC”) had agreed to pay $65 million to settle a suit brought under the False Claims Act alleging that the company charged the government for visits to Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits programs, and TRICARE (the military’s health service program) for unnecessary treatments. As a result of the settlement, whistleblower Judy Master, who worked for a consulting group once used by LHC, will receive $12 million. Ms. Master’s False Claims Act Complaint alleged that LHC billed for services provided to some patients who did not need them and to others who were not actually home-bound. Prior to the settlement, the Justice Department examined the company’s records related to home health visits. LHC did not admit to the allegations levied against it, and instead said that it settled the case to avoid the time and expense of drawn-out litigation. In addition to the monetary settlement, however, LHC agreed to a compliance program including regular auditing and monitoring, a training program for clerical staff on recordkeeping requirements, an internal compliance program, and an employee evaluation program linking performance reviews to compliance.

For more information see: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9Q32M080.htm

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