A multistate home healthcare services provider agreed to pay nearly $10 million as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) addressing the alleged submission of false claims to the Department of Labor’s Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP).
Atlantic Home Health Care violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting claims for payment to the EEOICP for nursing and personal care when its employees were not physically present at patients’ homes, the DOJ said in a press release Friday.
Of the settlement total, approximately $7 million will be restitution, according to the settlement agreement. Tonya Cass, a former corporate administrator and director of human resource administration and management at Atlantic Home Health Care, will receive about $1.7 million as a whistleblower acting under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
The details: The EEOICP was established to protect the interests of Department of Energy employees or contractors who were injured or became ill on the job.
The alleged false claims scheme at Atlantic Home Health Care was carried out between January 2017 and December 2021, according to the DOJ. Also during that period, the company was accused of making cash payments to individuals via a bonus program to influence their recruitment of other EEOICP claimants for homecare services—a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
Compliance considerations: Atlantic Home Health Care was acknowledged for cooperation for voluntarily disclosing the potential kickback violations to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General in October 2020, per the DOJ.
The company could not be reached for comment. The settlement does not include a determination of liability.