ATLANTA (CBS46)—A hospice facility operating in Atlanta has agreed to pay close to $2 million to settle false claim allegations, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, STG Healthcare and two of its senior executives, Paschal “Pat” Gilley and Mathew Gilley, have agreed to pay $1.75 million to resolve allegations that STG Healthcare, operating as Interim Healthcare of Atlanta, submitted or caused the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid patients who were not eligible for the hospice benefit.
Between 2013 and 2017, STG Healthcare submitted claims for patients who were not terminally ill, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The U.S. Attorney’s office reported that STG Healthcare set aggressive goals for enrolling patients and failed to properly supervise the admission practices of its staff and medical directors.
This business practice, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, resulted in the submission of claims for ineligible patients.
“Hospice is not a blank check for unscrupulous medical providers willing to admit patients who are not terminally ill,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “It is reserved for those who truly need it.
We will also continue to prioritize cases where it appears that a medical decision, especially the decision to forego curative treatment, has been influenced by a kickback.”
“When healthcare providers put their financial interests above the needs of patients the federal funds are diverted from where they are truly needed, putting our most vulnerable citizens at risk,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.
“The message is clear; the FBI will not tolerate companies who file false claims to generate more corporate revenue and take advantage of programs like Medicare & Medicaid.”
Two former healthcare employees brought the claims to federal officials attention as whistle blowers under the False Claims Act.
The two ex-employees will share a portion of the $1.75 million recovery, the U.S. Attorney wrote.