A Texas rehabilitation services company has agreed to pay federal regulators $6.1 million to settle allegations that the firm violated federal laws by paying kickbacks for Medicare referrals.
Investigators say Reliant Rehabilitation Holdings Inc. offered nursing homes the labor of its nurse practitioners at either below-market or no cost whatsoever in exchange for using Reliant's rehabilitation therapy services in their facilities. They allege the practice began in the spring of 2013 and continued for over four years.
In addition to the alleged kickback scheme, federal investigators say Reliant also violated the False Claims Act (a/k/a, "the Lincoln Law") that were tainted due to the firm's alleged practice of retaining doctors at nursing facilities at above-market prices for collaborating and supervising Reliant's nurse practitioners in exchange for supplying it referral business from its clients.
The complaints in question were brought under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows for individuals to file complaints alleging fraud against the government on its behalf. Claims that the federal government believes have merit after investigation are generally taken on by the government and prosecuted to either trial or a settlement.
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