Orlando, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces today that Home Health Care of Florida, LLC has agreed to pay $300,000 to resolve allegations that it engaged in a kickback scheme related to the referral of Medicare patients for home health services.
The settlement announced today resolves allegations that between August 1, 2013, and March 31, 2017, Home Health Care of Florida illegally paid its medical director in order to induce him to refer Medicare patients to Home Health Care of Florida for services that were billed to the United States. The medical director entered into a related settlement agreement in December of 2018. The United States alleged that these financial arrangements violated the physician self-referral law, commonly known as the “Stark Law,” and the Anti-Kickback Statute, giving rise to liability under the False Claims Act.
“Kickback arrangements have no place in federal healthcare programs,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. “The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to target improper payment schemes and advocate for the proper care of our senior citizens.”
The case was handled by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Investigative assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. Trial Attorney Breanna Peterson and Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Bloor coordinated the investigation.
The government’s action in this matter illustrates the emphasis on combating health care fraud, and one of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act. Tips from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).
The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.