The Visiting Physicians Association (“VPA”), which provides home health services in Michigan, Ohio, Georgia and Wisconsin, will pay the United States and the state of Michigan $9.5 million to settle allegations that the VPA violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare, TRICARE and the Michigan Medicaid program. The agreement between the VPA, the United States and Michigan settles allegations that the VPA routinely submitted false claims to Medicare, TRICARE and Michigan Medicaid for unnecessary home visits and oversight services, excessive and unnecessary tests and procedures, and for more complex evaluation and management services than were actually provided by the VPA.
“This settlement furthers the public interest and protects the strength and soundness of the Medicare program while ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries receive appropriate care. Cooperation between federal and state entities is crucial to this effort,” said Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
The settlement resolves four lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private parties to file an action on the government’s behalf and to then share in any recovery. Under the terms of the settlement, the four whistleblower plaintiffs will collectively receive $1.7 million.
More information can be found at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2009/December/09-civ-1377.html