Kindred Healthcare to pay $125M in false claims settlement

Kindred Healthcare — the largest home therapy care provider in the U.S. — agreed to a $125 million payment to settle allegations it knowingly allowed skilled nursing facilities to submit false claims to Medicare, according to the Department of Justice.

The settlement resolves allegations against Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred and contract therapy providers RehabCare Group and RehabCare Group East, which Kindred bought in June 2011.

RehabCare was accused of submitting claims to Medicare for rehab services considered unreasonable, unnecessary, unskilled or nonexistent. RehabCare allegedly reported extra therapy to boost reimbursements, scheduled inappropriate sessions and provided skilled therapy to patients who were asleep, according to the DOJ.

"Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to receive care that is dictated by their clinical needs rather than the fiscal interests of healthcare providers," said Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer. "All providers, whether contractors or direct billers of taxpayer-funded federal healthcare programs, will be held accountable when their actions cause false claims for unnecessary services."

Janet Halpin, a physical therapist and former rehabilitation manager for RehabCare and Shawn Fahey, an occupational therapist who worked for RehabCare, brought the action under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act. 


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