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Odyssey Healthcare Settles Whistleblower Suit For $25 Million

The Department of Justice announced that Odyssey Healthcare (“Odyssey”), a subsidiary of Gentiva Health Services, Inc., has agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit for $25 million. Odyssey is a provider of hospice services in 27 states. The settlement resolves claims in three whistleblower lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by former employees of Odyssey.

Medicare hospice funds are only available for Medicare recipients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. When a Medicare recipient is admitted to hospice care, that patient is no longer entitled to receive medical treatment intended to cure his or her illness. Instead, patients in hospice receive care that is intended to relieve pain, symptoms and the stress of terminal illness.

Most hospice care is billed at the routine care level. Continuous hospice home care is only available for patients experiencing an acute crisis and his or her symptoms can only be controlled at home through the provision of skilled nursing services. Continuous hospice care services are billed at the highest rate available to a hospice provider.

The whistleblowers alleged that, between January 2006 and January 2009, Odyssey submitted false claims to Medicare for unnecessary continuous hospice care services or hospice services that were not performed in accordance with Medicare requirements.

In addition to the $25 million payment, Odyssey entered into a five year corporate integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. The whistleblowers will share in the qui tam reward of $4.6 million.

If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail kelly@mccaberabin.com.