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Home health company will pay $7 million to settle Florida Medicare fraud case

The Carter Healthcare building in  The Villages (Google maps).JPG
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Carter Healthcare is accused of overbilling and billing Medicare for unnecessary therapy sessions.

Oklahoma-based Carter Healthcare is accused of overbilling Medicare and billing for therapy that patients didn’t need between 2014 and 2016.

A home health care company accused of billing Medicare for unnecessary therapy provided to patients in Florida has agreed to pay $7.175 million to resolve the case, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Oklahoma-based Carter Healthcare is accused of overbilling Medicare and billing for therapy that patients didn’t need between 2014 and 2016, a release from the justice department said.

“Medicare fraud costs our taxpayers billions annually,” said Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “These overpayments drain the Medicare trust fund and unfairly raise the premiums our senior citizens must pay. We take this fraudulent activity very seriously and will continue to prosecute it to the fullest extent of the law.”

The case was brought by two whistleblowers who worked as therapists for the company.

The company’s president and its chief operations officer are responsible for paying $250,000 of the fine with the company paying the remainder. They have also agreed to be excluded from participating in federal health care programs for five years.

Carter Healthcare agreed to put in place compliance measures to avoid or quickly detect similar conduct.

“Payment under Medicare for home health care is permitted only for those who provide medically necessary services to eligible beneficiaries,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “As this settlement demonstrates, the Department is committed to ensuring that providers bill only for appropriate procedures and amounts.”

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