Government Sues Largest For-Profit Hospice Chain for Alleged False Claims

The federal government has filed suit against Cincinnati-based Chemed Corp. — parent company to the largest for-profit hospice chain in the country, Miami-based Vitas Hospice Services — alleging false Medicare billings.

The government alleges that Chemed and Vitas knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false claims to Medicare for crisis care services that were not necessary, not actually provided or not performed in accordance with Medicare requirements.

"For example, the complaint contends that Vitas billed three straight days of crisis care for a patient, even though the patient's medical records do not indicate that the patient required crisis care and, indeed, reflect that the patient was playing bingo part of the time," according to the news release.

Additionally, the government alleges Chemed and Vitas knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false claims for hospice care for patients who were not terminally ill and thus not eligible for hospice care.

Vitas provides hospice services to patients in 18 states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia.

More Articles on Healthcare and False Claims Lawsuits:

2 Montana Hospitals to Pay $3.95M for Alleged Stark Law Violations
Intermountain Healthcare to Pay $25M to Settle Alleged Stark Law Violations
Emerging Trends in Stark, False Claims and Anti-Kickback Cases for Health Systems

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