A federal indictment in the Northern District of Mississippi alleges that Angelic Hospice in Greenwood and its owner Regina Swims-King bilked the Medicare system for more than $11 million between 2007 and 2012, billing for services of patients who neither needed nor qualified for the Medicare Hospice Benefit, according to a report by the Associated Press. The Associated Press article references court documents containing allegations “that a hospice recruiter went door-to-door asking whether residents needed their blood pressure checked.” Prosecutors claim that the hospice then took the patient’s information and used it to bill false claims to Medicare for hospice, according to the AP story.
In recent years, hospice fraud has become a serious problem. In 2009, Frohsin & Barger successfully prosecuted what was at the time the largest Medicare Hospice fraud in the country, resulting in a $24.7 million repayment to the Medicare system by nationwide hospice provider SouthernCare. Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed by Frohsin & Barger against major hospice companies whose insiders have witnessed the same or similar fraudulent practices. In 2011, the United States intervened in a suit by Frohsin & Barger against Asceracare, the hospice business owned by nursing home giant, Golden Living, formerly known as Beverley Enterprises. In May of this year, the United States intervened in a qui tam whistleblower suit and affirmed allegations in yet another Frohsin & Barger suit filed on behalf of a former executive director of Vitas Corporation, the largest for-profit Medicare hospice provider (which is owned by Chemed Corporation, whose other business unit is Roto-Rooter). In July, still another Frohsin & Barger suit caused HPH Hospice a large provider in central Florida to repay $1,000,000 plus interest, costs, and attorney’s fees to settle allegations that it defrauded the taxpayers and both the Medicare and state-funded Florida Medicaid system.
To report Medicare hospice fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.
Ironically with the pending case against VITAS they continue to exploit the elderly and pursue admitting inappropriate patients daily. Locally they have marketing reps they refer to as “ambulance chasers” that visit people who have called non-emergency for lift assist. Not only is this unethical but it should be illegal to use government resources to look for potential hospice candidates. Someone needs to shut this company down.