Hospice companies to pay $12.2M to settle false billing case

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Mooresville, N.C.-based hospice company Curo Health Services and several of its affiliates have agreed to pay the federal government a combined $12.21 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute, according to the Department of Justice.

Curo Health acquired Phoenix Hospice, Goodwin Hospice and Hospital Plus in 2010 and consolidated the companies under the Hospice Plus brand, which primarily operates in the Dallas area. The settlement resolves whistle-blowers' allegations that Hospice Plus, Phoenix Hospice and Goodwin Hospice submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services rendered as part of two kickback schemes.

The whistle-blowers alleged that Hospice Plus, Phoenix Hospice and Goodwin Hospice paid kickbacks to a physician house call company from 2007 through 2012 in exchange for patient referrals. They further alleged the companies paid kickbacks to clinicians, hospitals and long-term care facilities in exchange for patient referrals from 2007 through 2014, according to the DOJ.

In addition to settling with the hospice companies, the DOJ requested to prosecute fraud claims against two former Hospice Plus executives.

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