Hospice provider pays $75 million to settle Medicare Fraud charges in whistleblower case

Chemed has paid the U.S. government $75 million to settle lawsuits claiming the hospice care provider submitted false claims to Medicare. The settlement relates to allegations for the period 2002 and 2013 Chemed subsidiary Vitas knowingly submitted or caused to be submitted false claims to Medicare for services to hospice patients who were not terminally ill. As part of the settlement, Vitas also entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the HHS Office of Inspector General to settle the agency’s administrative claims. The settlement also resolves three lawsuits filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the government’s recovery. The Act permits the United States to intervene in such a lawsuit, as it did in the three whistleblower cases filed against the defendants. These cases were subsequently transferred to the Western District of Missouri and consolidated with the government’s pending action. The amount to be recovered by the private whistleblowers has not yet been determined.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers but not those in this case.