Nursing director among new defendants in expanded case against IL hospice, authorities announce

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A fraud case against a hospice company that provided services to nursing home residents has grown to include three additional defendants and the hospice organization itself, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced Tuesday. The facility's owner was charged in the case in January.

The facility and its employees, including a co-administrator, CNA director and nursing director, along with Seth Gillman, co-administrator and co-owner of Passages Hospice LLC, were charged in an 18-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, according to published reports. Gillman was originally charged and arrested in January for overbilling Medicare and obstructing justice after allegedly ordering employees to alter documents investigators sought.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the defendants allegedly elevated the level of hospice care for patients far beyond what was medically necessary or actually provided. Some of the patients were also found to not have terminal illnesses. Many hospice care claims were several years in duration.

The indictments alleged that between August 2008 and January 2012, Gillman and the other defendants also caused Passages to submit false claims for patients who did not qualify for general inpatient care. Passages did not have its own inpatient facility, but instead dispatched nurses to visit hospice patients in nursing homes and private residences.

All four individual defendants and Passages are scheduled to be arraigned next Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

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