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In an agreement that will settle false claims allegations, medical equipment and supply company American HomePatient Inc. (AHOM) and its HomePatient Delaware affiliate have agreed to pay the federal government $7 million.
The settlement was recently announced by the Department of Justice. It resolves allegations that the company submitted claims based on inadequate documentation or stemming from illegal patient referrals. Stuart Schiffer, JD, acting assistant attorney general for the department’s civil division, says the federal government alleged that American HomePatient, based in Brentwood, TN, submitted claims for items and services based on falsified or inadequate documentation. It further alleged that the company billed the government for items and services it provided to patients "when, in fact, patients were referred to AHOM in exchange for illegal remuneration."
The company also overcharged Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE from Jan. 1, 1995, through Dec. 31, 1998, according to Schiffer. The case stems from charges brought by whistle-blower Kenneth Hollis, a former employee, who will receive $1.17 million as part of the settlement. Hollis filed his suit in 1997 in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, KY.