South Florida home health agency pays $1.1 million to settle whistleblower’s kickback, Stark allegations

by bvernia | March 10th, 2015

On March 9, the Department of Justice announced that West Palm Beach, Florida-based Recovery Home Care, Inc., and two related companies had agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve claims, originally brought by a former employee, that the company violated the Stark Law and Medicare’s Antikickback Statute by paying doctors for patient referrals. According to DOJ’s press release:

Recovery Home Care Inc., Recovery Home Care Services Inc. (collectively Recovery Home Care) and National Home Care Holdings LLC have agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve allegations that the Recovery Home Care entities violated the False Claims Act by improperly paying doctors for referrals of home health care services provided to Medicare patients, the Department of Justice announced today.  The Recovery Home Care entities provide home health care services to Medicare beneficiaries and were purchased by National Home Care Holdings LLC in 2012, after the conduct addressed by the settlement occurred.

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From 2009 through 2012, Recovery Home Care, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, allegedly paid dozens of physicians thousands of dollars per month to perform patient chart reviews.  According to the government’s lawsuit, the physicians were over-compensated for any actual work they performed and, in reality, payments to the physicians were used to induce them to refer their patients to Recovery Home Care, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law.

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