Government Reaches $2.5 Million Settlement in Healthcare Fraud Matter
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Government entered into an out of court settlement agreement with Hospicio La Paz, Inc., in connection with a False Claims Act investigation carried out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Puerto Rico. The investigation uncovered approximately $1,504,509.00 in questionable billings submitted for payment by Hospicio La Paz, Inc. to Medicare Program, Part A, from October 2011, through September 2012.
Under the False Claims Act, Title 31, United States Code, Sections 3729, et seq., the United States can recover up to three times the amount of loss and civil monetary penalties ranging from $5,500.00 to $11,000.00 per false claim. As part of the settlement negotiations, Hospicio La Paz, Inc. paid the United States Government the sum of $2,500,000.00, including excess damages and penalties. Furthermore, Hospicio La Paz will enter into a compliance agreement with HHS-OIG.
The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate healthcare fraud matters, and will aggressively pursue civil and criminal actions against those who attempt to defraud the United States. The matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rafael J. López Rivera, Civil Health Care Fraud Coordinator, at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.