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ARTICLE ID 195905

$________ – DOJ – Contract – Kickbacks – Nursing company accused of kickback arrangement – Alleged violation of Anti-Kickback Statute.

U.S. District Court, Southern, Florida

In this action, the United States accused a Florida skilled nursing services provider of providing illegal kickbacks. The suit was resolved via settlement.

The defendant, Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., is a provider of skilled nursing services at seven rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that from ________ through ________, the defendant operated a sophisticated kickback scheme in which they hired numerous physicians ostensibly as medical directors pursuant to contracts that specified numerous job duties and hourly requirements. The United States alleged that various defendant facilities had several such medical directors under contract at any given time, paying each several thousand dollars monthly, despite the directors being required to perform few, if any, of their contracted job duties. The DOJ alleged that these "ghost positions" were, instead, a form of payment for patient referrals to defendant facilities.

The relator, Stephen B., a former CFO of Hebrew Homes, filed suit under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The defendants, Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., its operating subsidiaries and affiliates, and William Z., the former president and executive director of Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., were accused of improperly paying doctors for referrals of Medicare patients requiring skilled nursing care, violating the Anti-Kickback Statute.The matter was resolved with a settlement for $________, with no admission or determination of liability regarding the government’s claims. As part of the settlement, Mr. Z. has agreed to resign as defendant’s Executive Director and to no longer be an employee of the company. The defendant has also agreed to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General, and has agreed to change its policies on hiring and maintaining medical directors. The relator will receive $________ of the settlement.

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