A Georgia-based healthcare firm has agreed to pay the government $122 million to settle claims that it billed Medicare, Medicaide, and TRICARE for unnecessary treatments and allegedly paying illegal financial inducements to beneficiaries of those programs.
Investigators say that, between early 2006 and the end of 2018 the company admitted for treatment beneficiaries of government healthcare programs whose treatments would not ordinarily be billable to those programs. They are also accused of not properly discharging patients in their care who no longer needed it.
The Georgia firm allegedly billed for services it did not provide as well. It also allegedly billed improperly as to the length of the beneficiary’s stay and did not properly train staff to treat those in its care. The firm is also accused of using physical and chemical restraints in an improper way and doing the same with seclusion of its patients.
Federal investigators say the firm provided improper inducements to beneficiaries as well. They accuse the firm of offering free or discounted transportation services for beneficiaries to the hospital that were calculated to lead those seeking treatment to choose their facility over others.
In addition to the settlement, the firm has agreed to enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), which is tailored to help bring the firm into compliance with Federal mandates regarding Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.