William “Bill” King Jr., Marie King, King & Associates, Inc., and Southern Care, Inc. have agreed to pay $1.4 million in settlement of allegations they fraudulently inflated Medicare cost reports for skilled nursing facilities. Through King & Associates, Inc. and Southern Care, Inc., the Kings offered consulting services and prepared Medicare-required cost reports for skilled nursing facilities. A former accountant for the companies filed a qui tam action in 2006, alleging that the Defendants caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare by inflating physician charges on cost reports. Both Bill and Marie King pled guilty to related criminal charges and agreed to pay fines of $600,000, which will be credited to the $1.4 million civil judgment. For blowing the whistle, the relator will receive 19%, or up to $275,000, of the amounts collected pursuant to the settlement.
In the press release issued by United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce Vance, jointly with the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI, Vance emphasized the importance of qui tam whistleblowers:
“Whistleblowers who ignore potential harm to their careers and reputations when they notify the government of fraudulent conduct are a critical part of many investigations,” said U.S. Attorney Vance. “Without their assistance, fraudulent conduct might otherwise go undetected.”
To report skilled nursing or other healthcare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.