HOME HEALTH: Olsten to Pay $61M in Medicare Fraud Case
Olsten Corp., the country's largest home-health care provider and manager of several Columbia/HCA-owned home health operations, yesterday announced it will pay $61 million to resolve federal Medicare billing investigations that are tied, in part, to Columbia/HCA. Olsten subsidiary Kimberly Home Health Care will also plead guilty to criminal charges. Investigators allege that Olsten raised its management fees so that Columbia/HCA could "boost...reimbursements from Medicare." (The Tennessean, 3/31). The New York Times reports that Melville, NY-based Olsten "may be preparing to divest itself of Kimberly to keep the Medicare business of its parent company," although an Olsten spokesperson said the company has no plans to do so. Olsten's shares have fallen by 70% -- closing at $6 yesterday-- since July 1997, when the investigation was made public (Freudenheim, 3/31).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.