Senate Panel Looks Hard At Medicare Payments To Home Health Companies
An investigation by the Senate Finance Committee found that three home health care companies manipulated Medicare's billing system to increase payments.
USA Today: Senate Committee Accuses Companies Of 'Gaming Of Medicare'
Three home health care companies manipulated the Medicare system by charging for unnecessary services, according to an investigation released Monday by the Senate Finance Committee. … Investigators cited internal memos showing that three of the nation's largest home health care companies told employees to increase the number of therapy sessions a patient received in a 60-day period (Kennedy, 10/3).
The Hill: Senate Panel Accuses Home-Health Industry Of Bilking Medicare
The nation's three largest home-health companies bilked Medicare out of potentially millions of dollars by tailoring medical care to get the highest payments, the Senate Finance Committee said in a 664-page report released Monday. "The home health therapy practices identified at Amedisys, LHC Group, and Gentiva at best represent abuses of the Medicare home health program," the report concludes. "At worst, they may be examples of for-profit companies defrauding the Medicare home health program at the expense of taxpayers" (Pecquet, 10/3).
CQ HealthBeat: Report: Largest U.S. Home Health Care Providers Gamed Medicare System
The three largest home health care companies in the country tried to game the Medicare system by modifying patients' care to maximize reimbursements, a Senate Finance Committee report said Monday. The companies' practices could cost millions of dollars and "at best represent abuses of the Medicare home health program," the 664-page report concluded. "At worst, they may be examples of for-profit companies defrauding the Medicare home health program at the expense of taxpayers." Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, began the investigation in May 2010 following a Wall Street Journal analysis raising concerns that the companies were providing medically unnecessary care in order to capitalize on reimbursements. The lawmakers looked at the nation's four largest publicly traded home health companies: Amedisys, LHC Group, Gentiva and Almost Family. Medicare Part A spends $19 billion a year for home health care, according to the report (Ethridge, 10/3).
Modern Healthcare: Finance Panel's Report Rips Home Health Firms
The Senate Finance Committee released a 670-page report Monday morning blasting several publicly traded home-health care companies (PDF) for engaging in practices to boost company revenue regardless of patients' needs. The report, which was initiated last year by committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and former Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), concluded that the companies routinely set policies to maximize their billings from Medicare. The report stopped short of accusing the companies of fraud, saying only that they designed polices to "game" the system and provide medically unnecessary care (Carlson, 10/3).
The Associated Press: Senators Say Home Care Companies Overbooked Care
Senate investigators are accusing three of the nation's biggest home care providers of deliberately increasing their visits to patients to get higher payments from the government's Medicare program. A report released Monday by the Senate Finance committee lays out more than a half-dozen strategies used by executives at Amedisys, LHC Group and Gentiva to increase home care, even when patients may not have required extra attention. Staffers for Senators Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, reviewed internal documents by the companies (10/3).
Market Watch: Home-Health Firms Hit by Senate Panel Findings
A Senate panel's finding that home-health care firms gamed the Medicare system took a bite out of not only shares in the sector, but all hospitals in Monday trades. The allegations from the Senate Committee on Finance charge that Amedisys Inc. LHC Group Inc. and Gentiva Health Services Inc. provided medically unnecessary patient care. The panel conducted the probe on allegations first reported in the Wall Street Journal (Britt, 10/3).