The Middle District of Florida U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida announced last week that it had reached a $1 Million settlement with Tampa-based non-profit HPH Hospice over charges that the group violated the False Claims Act.

The government charged that HPH defrauded Medicare and Medicaid programs by billing for patients who were ineligible, overbilling for services and providing kickbacks for patient referrals.

The charges arose when two former employees of HPH filed a False Claims Act lawsuit, commonly known as a whistleblower lawsuit.

The revised False Claims Act allows those with evidence of fraud or false charges against the government to file lawsuits on the government’s behalf. As a reward, whistleblowers can share in the funds recovered.

The suit alleged that, from 2005 through 2010, HPH submitted claims for patients who did not need end of life care, admitted ineligible patients for care in order to meet targets, falsified medical records to support billing, overbilled for services and gave illegal kickbacks by providing free services to nursing facilities in exchange for patient referrals.

As part of the $1 million settlement, the two whistleblowers will collectively receive approximately $250,000 for a reward.

Since 1986, whistleblowers have helped taxpayers recover over $40 million by uncovering fraud in the healthcare, defense and banking industries.

For more information on cases involving fraud or the False Claims Act, contact the fraud experts at Riley Allen Law today