Home Health Agency In Florida Agrees To Pay $2.1 Million To Settle False Claims Act Case
On May 9th, 2022, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that SHC Home Health Services of Florida, LLC—a home health agency offering services in Miami, FL—has agreed to pay $2.1 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit. The company allegedly overbilled Medicare. Here, our Florida whistleblower lawyers discuss the False Claims Act settlement.
False Claims Act Settlement: Overbilling By a Florida Home Health Company
The defendant in this False Claims Act lawsuit is SHC Home Health Services of Florida, LLC, a home health care agency doing business as Signature HomeNow. With a national headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Signature HomeNow offers home health care throughout Florida. The underlying issue in this case pertains to billing of Medicare that occurred between 2013 and 2017. According to the information provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Signature HomeNow knowingly submitted false billing information. The settlement highlights the following four specific Medicare billing violations:
- The home health agency billed for services provided to patients who were not actually homebound as required by federal regulations;
- The home health agency billed for services for patients who did not require the high-cost, skilled care that was billed for;
- The home health agency failed to develop a comprehensive care plan for patients as required by Medicare billing regulations; and
- The home health agency failed to have adequate face-to-face meetings with patients to ensure the home health services paid for by Medicare were provided properly.
Signature HomeNow has reached a comprehensive False Claims Act settlement with the DOJ. As part of the settlement, the home health company will pay $2.1 million in financial restitution to the federal government. Additionally, the company has agreed to review and revise its federal health billing practices to ensure full compliance with the law.
Home Health Billing Fraud Was Exposed By Whistleblower
The Medicare billing violations at issue in this case were exposed, in part, by a whistleblower. Notably, the False Claims Act contained important legal provisions that allow individual whistleblowers to step into the role of the government and file a lawsuit (qui tam action) to protect the interests of taxpayers. When a False Claims Act whistleblower helps the government stop fraud, they may be entitled to a portion of the recovery. A whistleblower award under the False Claims Act is generally between 15 percent and 30 percent of the government’s ultimate recovery. In this case, the whistleblower claim is still being evaluated.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Florida False Claims Act Attorney
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our Florida whistleblower rights lawyers have extensive experience handling federal and state False Claims Act cases. If you are considering disclosing any type of health-related billing fraud, we are more than ready to help. Contact us now for a no cost, no commitment review of your case. From our Miami law office, our whistleblower rights lawyer provides statewide and nationwide legal representation in health billing fraud cases.