Vitas Corporate Integrity Agreement

“This litigation and agreement demonstrates the U.S. Attorney`s commitment to investigate and prosecute palliative care providers who address practices that abuse Medicare`s palliative care,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Larson of the Western District of Missouri. “The integrity of the Medicare program should not be affected by the financial interest of a palliative care provider.” He referred to the aseraCare case, where a federal judge dismissed a complaint that could have resulted in a $200 million fine from the ACF against the Texas-based palliative care provider. Reasonable disagreements among physicians over patients` fitness for palliative care do not prove fraud, said the judge in the case, which awaits the verdict of the 11th Court of Appeal. VITAS` ethical and legal behaviour is both a matter of ownership and corporate culture. It started with our founding in 1978, because the people who deal with death are the people who did the right thing to do to it. In 1995, years before the Office of the Inspector General issued its palliative care guidelines, VITAS drafted its own compliance policy to address areas of risk and ethical behaviour in providing reliable, safe and quality end-of-life care; She`s guiding us today. VITAS has built a strong compliance program on this solid foundation. It helps channel good intentions into organizational practices that ensure a commitment to integrity at all levels of our business.

“The doJ`s litigation has focused to a large extent on professional disagreements between qualified physicians to determine whether a patient has a final forecast and an appropriate level of care,” he said. “Having reasonable differences and making it a fraud charge is revolting,” Williams told HHCN. Vitas also entered into a five-year Enterprise Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) to settle the Authority`s administrative claims. The complaint also alleges that Chemed and Vitas knew through regular internal audits that patients were not entitled to the crisis care they were receiving or that crisis care was incompatible with the patient`s care plan. The defendants also knew that their Reimbursement of Medicare for crisis care was far superior to the rest of the palliative care sector. One category of services, continuing home care, is available for palliative care patients in times of crisis, who require care for at least eight hours to obtain palliative care and acute medical symptom treatment to stay at home. Because of the intensity of the services provided, continuing home care is much more reimbursed than routine home care.

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