PLANO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AseraCare is pleased to announce that the company has reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice for the hospice provider’s long standing Qui Tam lawsuit which began in 2008. The settlement agreement involves one payment by AseraCare to the Department of Justice in the sum of One Million Dollars ($1M) and requires no Corporate Integrity Agreement.
AseraCare is grateful to have reached this settlement with the Department of Justice and is proud that perseverance produced a benefit to the hospice industry that provides more clarity under the False Claims Act as a result of the opinion issued by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on September 9, 2019.
The Eleventh Circuit agreed with AseraCare and the District Court that a mere difference of reasonable physician’s opinions on a terminal patient’s prognosis will not constitute falsity under the False Claims Act. This opinion provides comfort for the physicians who are making these difficult determinations related to terminally ill patients as well as the hospice providers who are reimbursed by Medicare for services for these patients. The Court of Appeals also clarified that any other evidence presented by the government in an effort to impose False Claims Act liability must be directly linked to the claim the government contends is false.
A summary legal analysis of the Eleventh Circuit opinion can be accessed here:
AseraCare remains committed to providing hospice care and services to patients and families in the communities it serves. The Hospice Medicare benefit continues to be an underutilized benefit and AseraCare remains committed to providing outreach, education and access to those individuals that will benefit from this important care. AseraCare’s commitment is to operate at all times with ethics and integrity while carrying out its mission: To share our passion for improving quality of life through innovative healthcare, one person, one family and one community at a time.
About AseraCare Hospice:
AseraCare is a leading provider of hospice services caring for 2,200 patients and families per day. The company operates 44 locations in 14 states. For more information about AseraCare visit: www.aseracare.com