Catholic Health to pay $6M to settle overbilling allegations

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Catholic Health has agreed to pay $6 million to settle allegations its nursing home subsidiary overbilled Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services, according to the Department of Justice

Three of the health system's nursing homes allegedly submitted false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services between 2007 and 2014. The claims involved both long- and short-term skilled nursing care.

The nursing home subsidiary allegedly submitted claims to Medicare for the highest and most expensive levels of therapy when that type of therapy was not medically necessary or was unsupported by medical records.

The allegations against Catholic Health were originally brought under the qui tam, or whistle-blower, provision of the False Claims Act.

In a statement to The Buffalo News, Catholic Health said the government's case against the system was based on a small sample of claims. The system admitted no liability or wrongdoing in the settlement.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Catholic Health agreed to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with HHS' Office of Inspector General.

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