U.S. Intervenes in Qui Tam Action Against AseraCare Hospice
The Justice Department announced that the United States has intervened in a qui tam lawsuit filed by whistleblowers Dawn Richardson and Marsha Brown against Golden Gate Ancillary LLC dba AseraCare Hospice (“AseraCare”) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. A qui tam action is a whistleblower lawsuit brought by an individual as a “relator” on behalf of the federal government.
The government’s complaint in intervention filed on January 3, 2012, alleges that AseraCare, a for-profit company consisting of 65 hospice providers in 19 states, violated the False Claims Act by misusing millions of taxpayer dollars intended for terminally ill Medicare recipients needing hospice care.
For-profit hospice providers, such as AseraCare, are only entitled to Medicare funds for Medicare recipients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. When a Medicare recipient is admitted to hospice care, that patient is no longer entitled to receive medical treatment intended to cure his or her illness. Instead, patients in hospice receive care that is intended to relieve pain, symptoms and the stress of terminal illness.
The government alleges that AseraCare knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare reflecting that Medicare recipients who were not terminally ill received hospice care.
If the United States is successful in proving that AseraCare knowingly submitted false claims, the whistleblowers will be entitled to a percentage of the recovery.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at Rabin Kammerer Johnson for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040.