New York, June 26, 2018 – Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman, LLP (“Milberg”), announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee have reached an $8.5 million settlement in a hospice healthcare fraud whistleblower action against Caris Healthcare, L.P., and Caris Healthcare, LLC (“Caris”), which provides hospice services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina.
Milberg represented the whistleblower, or “Relator,” in the lawsuit, which was filed under seal on May 22, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The relator, a Registered Nurse, alleged that Caris was admitting and recertifying patients for hospice when they did not meet the appropriate admissions or recertification criteria. Specifically, Caris directed patients be admitted into hospice even when the nurse performing the admissions assessment recommended the patient not be admitted. Caris also instructed its nurses to “chart negatively,” or only document things that showed the patient was declining. Caris also directed nurses to change their assessment notes and, at times, deleted information that showed the patient was stable or improving. The United States filed its Complaint in Intervention on October 11, 2016. Pursuant to the False Claims Act provisions, the Relator will be awarded $1,402,500 from the Government’s recovery.
The settlement was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Kossak of the United States Department of Justice, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Sievert of the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Eastern District of Tennessee and J. Birt Reynolds and Anna C. Dover of Milberg along with local counsel Michael Hamilton of Provost Umphrey Law Firm, LLP.
About Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman LLP
Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman, LLP is widely recognized as a leading class action and complex litigation firm, representing individual and institutional investors, unions, consumers, and whistleblowers. In addition to having litigated landmark cases resulting in groundbreaking legal precedents and corporate governance reforms benefitting shareholders, Milberg also maintains an active whistleblower, or “qui tam,” practice. Milberg has returned hundreds of millions of dollars to federal and state treasuries in both intervened and non-intervened qui tam cases, including United States ex rel. Mortgage Now, Inc. v. Bank of America Corp. (W.D.N.C. 3:12cv360-MOC-DSC) (Relator’s action alleging that Bank of America had improperly recouped insurance proceeds from HUD to which it was not entitled was settled as part of the $16.65 billion global settlement regarding Bank of America’s mortgage practices – the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history); and Mason v. Medline Industries, Inc., et al., No. 07-cv-5615 (N.D. Ill.) (Government declined to intervene in Relator’s action alleging unlawful kickbacks, bribes, and other illegal remuneration to induce health care providers to continue to purchase defendant’s medical supplies and yet the case settled for $85 million – one of the largest settlements of a non-intervened FCA case to date). If you would like more information about Milberg’s False Claims Act practice, please visit www.milberg.com or contact Anna C. Dover at 212-594-5300.
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