Corporate Compliance

Federal government intervenes in false claims lawsuit against healthcare corporation

Compliance Monitor, August 17, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has intervened in a case against Nurses’ Registry and Home Health Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the agency announced July 26.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2008 by two former Nurses’ Registry employees, alleges that the company submitted false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary home health services. Nurses’ Registry exaggerated the medical conditions and needs of its patients for home healthcare services so it could qualify for, and artificially increase, its claims to Medicare, according to the DOJ announcement.

The Lexington, KY, company’s website says that it “provides a wide range of home health care services including skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapies, in-home IV therapy, homemaker aid (bathing, dressing, grooming), and private duty.”

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to sue on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.

“Home health care providers furnish essential services to some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Tony West, assistant attorney general for DOJ’s civil division. “Those who misstate the conditions of their patients for their own financial gain erode the integrity of the health care system, and they do it at taxpayers’ expense.”
 

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