Life Sciences

Rotech settles fraud charges

Device Regulation Alert: Safety, Compliance and Reimbursement News, September 8, 2008

Rotech Healthcare paid $2 million to resolve allegations it defrauded Medicare in billing for durable medical equipment, according to a Reuters article.

In 2004, former Rotech executive Sheila Bell-Messier alleged the company failed to disclose billing problems in Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana to avoid additional penalties related to a previous civil settlement. In 2002, while in bankruptcy, Rotec paid $17 million to settle federal civil claims it fraudulently overbilled Medicare for respiratory equipment, supplies, and services in Montana, Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia.

According to her qui tam suit, Bell-Messier shut down billing after she noticed billing records were not in compliance with her understanding of federal directives. She refused repeated requests to resume billing, saying she would not go to jail for Rotech.

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