LTC providers, executives will pay $19.5 million in therapy-hospice False Claims settlement
Two executives and three long-term care companies will pay $19.5 million in a False Claims Act settlement
A group of Ohio long-term care companies and two executives will pay about $19.5 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that were first brought by former employee whistleblowers.
Foundations Health Solutions, Olympia Therapy and Tridia Hospice Care — in addition to executives Brian Colleran and Daniel Parker — submitted false claims for medically unnecessary rehab therapy and hospice services to Medicare, according to Department of Justice officials.
The false claims allegations were filed by two former Tridia employees and a former Olympia employee under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which means they will share in the amount recovered. Vladimir Trakhter, the former Olympia employee, will be rewarded $2.9 million. Paula Bourne and La'Tasha Goodwin, former Tridia employees, will collectively receive $740,000.
Authorities claim that from January 2008 to December 2012, the company PSI/BCFL, which became FHS in 2013, and Olympia, the rehabilitation therapy services provider for facilities managed by PSI/BCFL, submitted or caused the submission of false claims for unnecessary rehab at 18 skilled nursing facilities.
From April 2011 to December 2013, Tridia also allegedly submitted false claims to Medicare. Tridia is the hospice care provider for FHS. The alleged false claims were for hospice services for patients who were ineligible for Medicare hospice because the company did not conduct proper certifications or medical examinations.
From January 2008 to December 2012, Colleran and Park allegedly solicited and received kickbacks from referring patients from facilities managed by PSI or BCFL to Amber Home Care. Colleran and Park partially controlled or owned PSI, BCFL, FHS, Olympia and Tridia during the time of the allegations.
“This is one of the largest nursing home operations in Ohio,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman for the Southern District of Ohio. “It is unacceptable for an entity entrusted to care for our most vulnerable and elderly citizens to make decisions based on profit, not quality of care. Subjecting the elderly to inappropriate levels of therapy can be physically harmful, and failing to properly certify and recertify hospice patients can have a devastating impact on the patients and their families.”
As part of the settlement, FHS and Colleran have agreed to enter a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the HHS Office of the Inspector General to increase accountability and transparency.