The Department of Justice announced that the government has intervened in a False Claims Act action against Ft. Lauderdale-based A Plus Home Health Care, Inc. (“A Plus”) and its owner, Tracy Nemerofsky. The Complaint, filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act in 2012, was initially brought by whistleblower William Guthrie, the former director of development for A Plus.
According to the government, since 2006, A Plus has been paying illegal kickbacks in the form of payments to physician’s spouses in order to induce the physicians to refer Medicare patients to A Plus. The whistleblower alleges that A Plus created false personnel files for at least seven physician’s spouses and one physician’s boyfriend to make it look as if they were legitimate employees and the payments were earned as salaries.
According to the Complaint, the individuals performed few, if any, actual job functions, but the amount of Medicare referrals significantly increased after they were hired. The government alleges that in 2005, before any physician’s spouses were hired, A Plus submitted Medicare billings of approximately $1.1 million. The whistleblower contends that in 2011, after the spouses were hired, A Plus was reimbursed approximately $6.6 million from Medicare.
The government previously settled with two of the couples that accepted payments from A Plus. If the government is successful in proving its case against A Plus, or if the remaining claims are settled, the whistleblower may be entitled to a share of the recovery under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.