Company settles suit over hospice patients, disputes claims

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio corporation has paid the U.S. government a record $75 million to settle lawsuits stemming from alleged false claims about hospice patients.

The U.S. Department of Justice says that between 2002 and 2013 Chemed subsidiary Vitas knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare for services to hospice patients who were not terminally ill. The DOJ sued Chemed in 2013.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler says the resolution represents the largest amount ever recovered under the False Claims Act.

Chemed says it still disputes the allegations, but settled "to avoid the cost and uncertainty of continued litigation."

As part of the settlement, Vitas has entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.