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Michigan home health firm settles false claims case

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 25, 2010

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Visiting Physicians Assn. agreed to pay the federal government and the state of Michigan $9.5 million to settle whistle-blower allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to federal health programs, the Justice Dept. announced Dec. 23, 2009.

Visiting Physicians Assn., a home health services company based in Farmington Hills, Mich., allegedly submitted claims to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for unnecessary home visits, tests and procedures. The settlement illustrates the government's commitment to pursue those who seek to defraud public health care programs, federal officials said. The firm admitted no wrongdoing in settling the civil case.

The Justice Dept. "will continue to work with our federal and state partners to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on health care services for patients, not wasted on fraud and abuse," said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the department's Civil Division. The settlement resolves four separate lawsuits filed by plaintiffs under whistle-blower provisions of the False Claims Act.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/01/25/gvbf0125.htm.

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