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AseraCare Hospice Sued by U.S. Over Alleged False Claims Act Violations

Hospice provider AseraCare is accused of submitting “false and fraudulent” Medicare claims for payment to the U.S. It has been alleged that the hospice has been claiming charges to the Federal Government for those patients who were not admitted to hospice. Hospice care is provided to Medicare recipients who have a prognosis of six months or less to live and need hospice care.

The complaint stems from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two former employees in 2009; originally filed by Dawn Richardson and Marsha Brown, named United States ex rel. Richardson and Brown v. Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC dba Golden Living et al., No. 2:09-cv-00627 (N.D. Ala.).

The False Claims Act allows private citizens with knowledge of fraud to file whistleblower suits on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. The U.S. is seeking three times the damages and a penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim.

According to the lawsuit, Aseracare, owned by Golden Living, (one of the largest nursing home chains in the U.S.) is based in Fort Smith, Arkansas and runs 65 hospice centers in 19 states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Wisconsin. The federal complaint is part of an effort by the Justice Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health, to crackdown on suspected hospice fraud in the Medicare program.

This case is U.S. v. Golden Gate Ancillary LLC, 09-00627, U.S. District Court, Northern District Court of Alabama (Birmingham).

For more information, please contact Abby Pendleton or Jessica Gustafson at (248) 996-8514, or visit The Health Law Partners website at www.thehealthlawpartners.com

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