HOSPICE MEDICARE FRAUD REVEALED BY WHISTLEBLOWERS COLLECTING LARGE REWARDS

Medicare’s bill for hospice care rose to more than $12 billion in 2009 and now an advisory committee for an independent Congressional oversight panel says that in  10 percent of the patients remained in hospice beyond seven months. Hospice is supposed to be end of life care in the home to help the dying and their family. When a patient enrolls in hospice, Medicare pays a flat rate of between $147 to $856 per day deoending on the level of care regardless of whether hospice actually provides services. When services are rendered, it is to provide dying patients with palliative care in their own homes or a nursing home. The Medicare reimbursement model gives incentive for hospice to seek out patients likely to live longer. In addition, upon review, it was found that hospices routinely fail to document what care patients receive. Whistleblower cases are popping up now revealing the fraud, under  laws allowing for a bounty for a significant bounty for the whistleblower. In 2007 the government obtained a $25 million award from SouthernCare one of the nation’s largest hospice companies.