Stock Prices Of Home Health Companies Fall After DOJ Requests Medicare Documents
"Home health companies have come under investigation this year by Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission over Medicare reimbursements for therapy visits," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Amedisys, the nation's largest home-health provider, disclosed Tuesday that on Monday, it received the Justice Department civil investigative demand requiring delivery of a wide range of documents and information to the U.S. attorney's office for the northern district of Alabama. ... The investigations revolve around whether the companies pushed patients into extra, sometimes unnecessary, home health-care visits in order to hit a threshold level that secured them thousands more in reimbursements from the government's health-care program" (Xu and Brin, 9/28).
Reuters: "In May, a U.S. Senate Finance Committee had launched an investigation over billing practices that it said raised questions about reimbursement from the Medicare insurance program. In a bipartisan letter to Amedisys, [and other companies - Gentiva, LHC and Almost Family], lawmakers had said it appeared the companies increased billing to help boost their profits. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had launched similar probes into the billing practices" (Benjamin, 9/28).
Bloomberg Businessweek: "The Baton Rouge, La., company said the documents include reimbursement and billing claims for home health services submitted to Medicare going back to Jan. 1, 2003. Amedisys said it will cooperate with the Justice Department" (9/28).