Home health company pays $10M to resolve whistleblower's kickback allegations

Atlantic Home Health Care has agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, which is administered by the Department of Labor.

The Justice Department said the settlement is based on Atlantic Home Health's financial condition.

Prosecutors alleged that, between 2017 and 2021, Atlantic Home Health falsely billed the program for in-home nursing and personal care when its employees were not physically present in patients' homes. The government also alleged that the company paid kickbacks in the form of cash payments up to $5,000 for patient referrals via its "friends and family program" and in-kind payments for food, internet travel and other expenses to patients and their families. 

Before the Justice Department disclosed its investigation to Atlantic Home Health, the company voluntarily revelaed details of its "friends and family" program and in-kind remuneration to patients and their families. The settlement reflects the company's cooperation in this regard.

The settlement stems from a whistleblower complaint brought by Tonya Cass, former corporate administrator and director of human resource administration and management at Atlantic Health Care, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Ms. Cass will receive about $1.7 million of the settlement amount as part of the resolution. 

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