Department of Justice Reaches False Claims Act Settlement Related to Medicare Fraud
On November 20, the Department of Justice announced that it had entered into a settlement with Doctor’s Choice Home Care, Inc, and its former executives related to claims brought by False Claims Act whistleblowers.
The settlement resolved a lawsuit brought by three employees of Doctor’s Choice under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to sue companies for false claims made to the government and to share in any recovery. The suit alleged that Doctor’s Choice was entering into sham medical director agreements with physicians as a way to of providing payment for referrals and utilizing those referrals to provide bonuses to their employees. The lawsuit also alleged that Doctor’s Choice provided unnecessary services to Medicare patients by pressuring clinical personnel to increase the number of home service visits in order to avoid the Medicare Low Utilization Payment Adjustment.
“The Department of Justice will continue to hold companies and individuals accountable for the payment of illegal remuneration in any form,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “Improper inducements have no place in our federal healthcare system, which relies on healthcare providers making decisions based on the healthcare needs of their patients and rather than their personal financial interests.”
The False Claims Act provides that whistleblowers receive between 10% to 30% of the money the government recovers from the wrongdoer. In this case, Ms. Herbold, Ms. Billings, Ms. Sykes, and Ms. Eschoyez-Quiroga will share $145,000 for blowing the whistle on Doctor’s Choice’s practices.
If You See Corporate Fraud, Talk to An Experienced Employment Attorney
Whistleblowers like Ms. Herbold, Ms. Billings, Ms. Sykes, and Ms. Eschoyez-Quiroga are critical to our system of law enforcement and to stopping corporate fraud. Our experienced whistleblower attorneys can help you navigate False Claims Act cases and other complex whistleblower laws.