Vibra Healthcare to pay $6M to settle 2016 whistleblower suit

Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Vibra Healthcare will pay $6.25 million to resolve whistleblower allegations against Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso, Texas, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Vibra Healthcare operates Highlands as well as other freestanding specialty acute care hospitals and inpatient medical rehabilitation hospitals in 15 states.

Vibra Healthcare's voluntary civil settlement agreement with the federal government resolves a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Highlands employee Thomas A. Floren in January 2016.

Mr. Floren alleged that Highlands and others submitted false claims that did not meet Medicare requirements for reimbursement, according to the Justice Department.  

The federal government said Highlands and other inpatient rehabilitation facilities are required to ensure that patients are examined by a qualified physician at least three times each week throughout their hospital stay. Mr. Floren alleged this did not happen at Highlands. He also alleged Vibra Healthcare submitted false claims to Medicare for services knowing that requirement wasn't met, according to the Justice Department.

The settlement did not determine liability. Vibra Healthcare denies wrongdoing.


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