The DOJ announced Atlantic Home Health Care LLC (AHH) has agreed to pay $9,990,944 to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act (FCA). AHH’s former Corporate Administrator and Director of Human Resource Administration and Management, Tonya Cass, initially brought civil claims against AHH under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, which allows relators like Cass to get a percentage of the amount recovered.  Cass will receive approximately $1.7 million from this settlement, which would also resolve her direct claims.

According to the government, AHH falsely billed the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) between 2017 and 2021. The EEOICP is a healthcare program administered by the Department of Labor that provides benefits for Department of Energy employees and contractors who were injured or became ill on the job. It is alleged that AHH falsely billed the EEOICP for in-home nursing and personal care when its employees were not physically present and receiving the foregoing care. 

The government further alleged that AHH violated the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), which is a criminal statute that prohibits soliciting or receiving renumeration in exchange for patient referrals. AHH allegedly made case payments, up to $5,000, and in-kind payments for patient referrals via its “friends and family program”. AHH made a voluntary disclosure concerning possible AKS violations before the government disclosed its investigation. The government acknowledged AHH’s cooperation in the settlement agreement.

When this agreement was announced, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division commented “[w]e are dedicated to ensuring that program beneficiaries receive proper care and that taxpayer dollars are protected from waste, fraud and abuse.” The government has long regarded the FCA as one of its most powerful tools to combat healthcare fraud, and it recovers billions of dollars annually from FCA cases.9 The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to false claim act investigations and litigation. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.