A federal judge has finalized the settlement (PDF) in which Odyssey Hospice, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Gentiva Health Services, agreed to pay $25 million and enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement to settle whistle-blower allegations that the company submitted inflated bills to Medicare between 2006 and 2009.
Judge finalizes Odyssey Hospice settlement
Three False Claims lawsuits filed by four former employees of Odyssey accused the company of regularly providing or claiming to have provided continuous home-based hospice care for patients, which pays several hundred dollars a day more than the cheaper routine care that Odyssey’s Medicare beneficiaries did or should have received in the cases at issue.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed the consolidated lawsuit on Feb. 29, following submission of the settlement agreement, court records say. The settlement was previously announced last month.
The move resolves any civil liability Odyssey could have faced in the case. The written agreement says Odyssey did not admit civil liability by agreeing to the settlement. Gentiva acquired Dallas-based Odyssey in 2010.
“Gentiva cooperated fully with this investigation, which covered a period prior to our acquisition of Odyssey, and the settlement is consistent with our efforts to instill Gentiva’s culture of compliance throughout the company,” John Camperlengo, Gentiva general counsel and chief compliance officer, said in a written statement.
As part of the agreement, the four whistle-blowers—Debra Rouse, Jane Tuchalski, Bryan Dingus and Judy Smithwick—will divide among themselves a $4.6 million portion of the settlement, according to court records and attorneys for the litigants.
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