Vibra Will Pay $6.25M to Resolve Allegations that it Violated the False Claims Act by defrauding Medicare

by Andrew Murray | December 2nd, 2019

On November 13, 2019, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas announced a settlement with a hospital and rehabilitation provider for submitting false claims. The Press Release states:

U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas announced today that Vibra Healthcare, LLC, Vibra Healthcare II, LLC, Vibra Rehab Holdings, LP, Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of El Paso, LLC d/b/a Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital, and Vibra IRFM Company, LLC, (collectively referred to as “Vibra”) will pay $6,250,000.00 to settle allegations that they defrauded the U.S. through its Medicare healthcare programs. Vibra Healthcare, based in Pennsylvania, operates freestanding acute medical rehabilitation hospitals and long term acute care hospitals nationwide, including Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso, Texas.

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On January 21, 2016, Thomas A. Floren, a former employee at Highlands, filed a qui tam action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging that Highlands and others submitted false claims to Medicare for services that did not meet the requirements for payment. Medicare requires that inpatient rehabilitation facilities, such as Highlands, provide an intensive level of services to patients, including that the patient be examined by a qualified physician at least three times per week throughout a patient’s stay.  Floren alleged that patients at Highlands were not seen three times per week by a qualified physician, and that Vibra billed Medicare for services knowing that it did not meet this requirement.

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The Government announced that the case was initially filed by a whistleblower, but it did not specify the relator’s share of the settlement

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