The federal government has intervened in two more civil whistleblower fraud lawsuits against Vencor, bringing the total to four.
Previously unsealed suits accused the Louisville, Ky.-based long-term-care company of double-billing Medicare for ancillary services.
In the first of the two new complaints, Vencor is accused of a national policy of plying physicians with kickbacks, providing medically unnecessary care to Medicare patients and minimizing care to Medicaid patients, delaying discharges to maximize reimbursement, and overcharging Medicare for oxygen and other medical supplies.
The complaint, filed in 1997 in U.S. District Court in Concord, N.H., by an employee of a Dover, N.H., nursing home, alleges that "these various schemes resulted in millions of false or fraudulent Medicare claims," each of which could mean a fine of up to $10,000.
In the second complaint, filed in 1997 in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, three employees of a Vencor-operated hospice accused the company of admitting inappropriate patients to hospice care in an attempt to maximize Medicare reimbursements. The suit demanded $1 million in damages.
The government has not filed an amended complaint in either case, and it is unclear whether the government concurs on all charges.