Nursing home network Hebrew Homes agreed to pay $17 million to settle a False Claims Act suit brought by their former CFO.
According to the CFO, Hebrew Homes allegedly violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits the exchange (or offer to exchange), of anything of value, in an effort to induce (or reward) the referral of federal health care program business. The settlement is the largest in US history for a nursing home allegedly violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the whistleblower will receive $4 million.
Hebrew Homes allegedly hired medical directors for its many homes and paid them thousands of dollars monthly. These medical directors were physicians who were being paid to provide referrals to Hebrew Homes facilities. “Medicare funds should be used to provide care for our senior citizens, not as an inducement to physicians to refer business,” Benjamin C. Mizer, principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Civil Division, said in a statement.
The Anti-Kickback Statute is broadly drafted and establishes criminal penalties that include fines, jail time, and exclusion from federal healthcare programs. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can bring a qui tam claim on behalf of the US government if they have evidence of a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. If the government successfully intervenes, the whistleblower is entitled to a portion of the recovered damages, as was the case here.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles Medicare fraud, qui tam (False Claims Act), and whistleblower lawsuits, although it did not handle the above-mentioned case. If you have a whistleblower claim, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.