According to the Phoenix Sun, a Phoenix hospice provider will pay $2.2 Million to the federal government for falsely billing Medicare for hospice care.
Under the agreed terms, the founder and former president Ruth Siegel agreed to be excluded from Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs for 5 years. She will also, personally pay $1 Million of the $2.2 Million settlement
This lawsuit was filed by a former employee Cheryl Sifford, under the false claims act. Serenity still denied the allegations, but said it was more cost effective to settle rather than fight it.
Here's how the system works, Medicare pays for medical care to manage symptoms and provide relief to those with a life expectancy of less than 6 months and who have decided not to seek any further treatment, but rather prepare for death. The rate Medicare pays for this service is over 4 times the rate that should have been paid for the actual services they received. Thus boosting profits for the facility.
Sifford claimed in a civil lawsuit filed, that Serenity flagged patients who were referred by CareMore to ensure they were admitted as hospice patients. In addition she was also instructed to take CareMore's staff to dinner, concerts and limousine rides.
Siegel has not admitted guilt, but has insisted that this settlement is the quickest and most cost effective settlement.
The whistleblower, Cheryl Sifford will collect $440,000 for her help in this case.
If you know of any such thing taking place where you work we encourage you to contact Jim VanderLinden immediately. http://www.vanderlindenlaw.com/