LHC Group settles dispute with government for $65 mil.
Home health provider LHC Group said it will pay $65 million to settle a civil inquiry with the federal government over whether some Medicare-reimbursed patient care was medically necessary. In the agreement, LHC Group did not admit wrongdoing and said it still disputes the claims. The company said there were no findings that the company billed or received payments for services not rendered. The investigation was disclosed in 2010 after the Wall Street Journal reported that Medicare data suggested several providers appeared to boost the number of visits they made to patients to 10 or above—the threshold at which Medicare reimburses providers an additional $2,200. LHC said it chose to settle to avoid the expense of a drawnout dispute. The inquiry centered on whether medical records, in some cases, properly documented medical necessity of some patient visits. The company also said it agreed to a compliance program including regular auditing and monitoring, a training program for its clerical staff on record-keeping requirements, an internal compliance department that will be involved in all company operations and an employee evaluation program linking performance reviews to compliance.