Settlement to cost hospice $3.2 million

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By Pat Faherty

Hospice of Citrus County has agreed to pay approximately $3.2 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

The hospice has also entered into a detailed five-year corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Katherine Harris, with the Office of Inspector General, summarized the settlement as follows: “On Nov. 3, 2015, in the Middle District of Florida ... the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General finalized a Settlement Agreement with Hospice of Citrus (HOCC).

“HOCC, a hospice facility that provided services in and around Citrus County, agreed to pay $3,172,603.38 to resolve allegations that HOCC knowingly submitted false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for medically unnecessary hospice care of certain patients who had lengths of stays in excess of 1,000 days.”

Earlier this year, those federal authorities disputed HOCC claims from 2005 to 2013. The settlement agreement was reached last month.

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