Apria Plans To Settle Medicare Fraud Charges
Apria Healthcare Group, one of the nation's largest home health care providers, on Tuesday preliminarily agreed to pay the government $17.6 million, without admitting misconduct, to settle a Medicare fraud investigation, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vrana, Los Angeles Times, 8/10).
A government audit, released in 2001, examined 300 Apria files from a 3 1/2 year period ending in 1998 and found $110,000 in charges that did not include adequate documentation. The billing problem included missing ZIP codes on claim forms and missing forms, although most of the missing certificates were eventually found (California Healthline, 7/17/01).
Lake Forest-based Apria claimed that only "errors and omissions" occurred in its billing. Federal prosecutors alleged more serious wrongdoing from mid-1995 to 1998. In 2001, prosecutors sought a $400 million settlement.
Apria executives in June said they were considering selling the firm and hired Morgan Stanley to assess possible offers for the company (Los Angeles Times, 8/10).