Odyssey to pay $25 million in settlement

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Odyssey Hospice has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice a cash settlement of $25 million.

Odyssey, which was acquired in 2010 by Gentiva Health Services, was investigated by the DOJ for continuous care services given between Jan. 1, 2006 and Jan. 22, 2009. Additionally, Odyssey signed a corporate integrity agreement, agreed to provide a special education program for employees and receive audits of the company's hospice division over a five-year period. The company did not disclose whether it admitted wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Hospice companies have been under a microscope as federal audit patrols increasingly cracking down on cases of Medicare fraud. The government recently joined a whistleblower suit against AseraCare, which alleges that the hospice company pressured employees to recruit large numbers of hospice patients from nursing homes.