Home Health Care Company Techota, LLC, to Pay United States $150,000 to Resolve False Claims Allegations
Montgomery, Alabama - Techota, LLC has agreed to pay the United States $150,000 to resolve claims in a federal qui tam lawsuit that it violated the False Claims Act by making false claims for payment to Medicare for home health care services, announced George L. Beck, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Techota, LLC, based in Nashville, Tennessee, provides home health care services in Alabama under the names CV Home Health of Bibb County and CV Home Health Services. The settlement resolves claims in the federal lawsuit that Techota, LLC, billed Medicare for home health services that were not eligible for reimbursement because the services were not medically reasonable and necessary or were not provided under a valid plan of care. Under the terms of a global settlement, Techota, LLC, will also enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS-OIG”).
“Our office is grateful to the law firm of Frohsin and Barger who represented Ms. McDonald and brought this injustice to our attention,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck. “Our country needs those with knowledge about the fraud and false claims to realize that if they bring these injustices to our attention, we will diligently work to cure the injustice.”
“False claims for medically unnecessary services drain both the Medicare program and the taxpayers’ pockets,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General for the Atlanta region. “The provider has agreed to Federal monitoring and reporting requirements to avoid problems in the future.”
This case was initially filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama by Veronica McDonald, a former Techota employee, under the qui tam, or whistleblower provisions, of the False Claims Act. Pursuant to these provisions, a private citizen can bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. Ms. McDonald will receive $22,500 as her share of the government’s recovery in this matter.
This resolution is part of the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and another step for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in May 2009. The partnership between the two departments has focused on efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in that effort is the False Claims Act, which the Justice Department has used to recover nearly $10.2 billion since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 are over $14 billion.
This case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney James J. DuBois from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama and Natalie J. Priddy from the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, in conjunction with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
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