Lessons from Recent Home Health Enforcement Actions

AHLA PALS Advisor February 2016

Jack Wenik and Erica F. Sibley, attorneys in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Newark office, authored an article in PALS Advisor, the American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services Practice Group newsletter, titled “Lessons from Recent Home Health Enforcement Actions.”

Mr. Wenik and Ms. Sibley provide their analysis of United States v. HHCH Health Care, Inc., et al., in the following excerpt:

Although HHCH is an extreme example of fraud and criminal activity in the home health sphere—naturally, not all instances of home care fraud run the gamut of bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion—HHCH lays out many implications for home care providers. What is particularly striking is the use of investigative techniques, such as surveillance, undercover operatives, tape-recorded conversations, etc., normally reserved for organized crime and narcotics prosecutions rather than health care fraud. For home health providers, it adds a new dimension to threats from whistleblowers in that the result may be a full-blown criminal investigation rather than just a False Claims Act (FCA) suit. It reflects the resources the government is willing to devote to combatting home health fraud, adding new urgency for home health agencies to deal immediately with any potential fraud or abuse rather than ignore potential problems. …