Covenant Care Agrees to Pay $3.2M in Medicare Overbilling Case
Covenant Care Inc. has agreed to pay the federal government approximately $3.2 million to settle a Medicare overbilling case, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Aliso Viejo-based company, which operates 36 nursing facilities nationwide, allegedly billed Medicare for "services provided to non-Medicare patients." In addition, Covenant's billings were "based on hours of service that were inaccurate and could not be verified by audits," according to investigators. The settlement stems from a 1998 "whistle-blower" lawsuit filed by Michael McNall, a former controller for the company. Covenant did not admit any wrongdoing but decided to settle the case because it was "a drain on the company resources," according to Covenant attorney Judith Waltz (Strickland, Los Angeles Times, 11/14). According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Hong Dea, the company paid half of the settlement Oct. 29 and "must pay the remaining $1.6 million, plus interest, within the year." In addition, Covenant must implement a program that ensures compliance with federal health care requirements (AP/Fresno Bee, 11/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.