Hospice Operator Agrees To Pay $3.92 Million To Settle False Claims Lawsuit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The parent company of Hospice Compassus, which previously operated in Alabama, has agreed to pay the United States $3.92 million to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to the government for patients treated at its hospice facilities, announced Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson.
The settlement agreement between the government and CLP HealthcareServices, a Delaware corporation based in Brentwood, Tenn., recently was filed in U.S. District Court.
Hospices provide palliative care – any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms – to patients who decide to forego curative care of their illness. Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to hospice care if they have a prognosis of six months or less to live. The government alleged that Hospice Compassus was submitting false claims for hospice care for patients who were not eligible for such care.
“This settlement returns to taxpayers almost $4 million that was wrongfully claimed from Medicare by a company that offered hospice care in Alabama,” Vance said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Alabama is committed to protecting public monies and safeguarding Medicare beneficiaries.”
“The OIG is committed to identifying improper billing to Medicare and returning those dollars back to the taxpayers," Jackson said.
The settlement results from two qui tam, or "whistle blower," lawsuits filed by two former Hospice Compassus employees. The False Claims Act authorizes private parties to file suit against those who defraud the United States and to receive a share of any recovery. The United States will pay approximately $712,000 to the individuals who filed the actions against Hospice Compassus.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, investigated the case.