A Texas hospice provider will pay $4.2 million to settle allegations of submitting false claims and knowingly retaining overpayments for the care of hospice patients who ere ineligible for the Medicare hospice benefit because they weren’t terminally ill, according to the Department of Justice.
The patients at issue in the settlement were at Elara Caring’s Texarkana, Texas, location, which previously operated as CIMA Hospice, between 2014 and 2019 and in 2020. The settlement also resolves allegations regarding two patients at other Texas locations between 2015 and 2021. The settlement further resolves allegations that Elara Caring knowingly and improperly concealed or avoided obligations to repay overpayments for these patients. 
The civil settlement resolved a lawsuit filed under the qui tam or whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the Government’s recovery.  The qui tam lawsuit was filed by Aneko Jackson, a former Elara Caring employee, and is captioned United States ex rel. Jackson v. CIMA Healthcare Management, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-00368 (W.D. Tex.).  Ms. Jackson will receive $672,000 in connection with the settlement.
See the full release at https://tinyurl.com/yxrx8nyz.