Home Health Company Operating in Florida Pays $2.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations
Miami, Florida – SHC Home Health Services of Florida, LLC and its related entities (collectively “Signature HomeNow”) have paid $2.1 million to the United States government to settle claims of improperly billing the Medicare Program for home health services provided to beneficiaries living in Florida.
Signature HomeNow operated home healthcare services in Florida and its corporate headquarters are located in Louisville, Kentucky.
According to a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Signature HomeNow and the subsequent settlement agreement, it was alleged that between 2013 and 2017 Signature HomeNow knowingly submitted false or fraudulent claims seeking payment from the Medicare Program for home health services to Medicare beneficiaries who: (i) were not homebound; (ii) did not require certain skilled care; (iii) did not have a valid or otherwise appropriate plans of care in place; and/or (iv) did not have appropriate face-to-face encounters needed in order to be appropriately certified to receive home health services.
This matter arose from a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) complaint hotline (https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/) and from a complaint for monetary damages under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act. See United States ex rel. Barbara Mellott-Yezman and Patricia Rench v. SHC Home Health Services-Ocala, LLC et al., Case No. 15-cv-24713 (S.D. Fla.).
“The fraudulent billing of Medicare will not be tolerated,” said Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “We will continue to aggressively pursue cases against those who erode the fabric of our federal health care programs by submitting false claims to Medicare.”
“Overbilling Medicare by submitting false claims increases the cost of medical care for all and undermines the integrity of the Medicare program,” said Michael A. Bennett, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “This office will continue to vigorously pursue unscrupulous health care providers who attempt to defraud the Medicare program.”
“When health care companies try to boost their profits by fraudulently billing federal health care programs, our agency will work closely with our law enforcement partners to hold them accountable for their schemes,” said HHS-OIG Atlanta Regional Office Special Agent in Charge Miles.
HHS-OIG Atlanta Regional Office investigated the case, with assistance from HHS-OIG Miami. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James A. Weinkle and John Spaccarotella (of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida), Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin S. Schecter, Jessica R.C. Malloy, and Matt Weyand (of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky) handled the litigation.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.
Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney
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