WHISTLEBLOWER : HOSPICE COMPANY COMMITTING MEDICARE FRAUD

A major hospice company which paid the federal government #24.7 million in January 2009 is fraudulently enrolling patients in hospice care and is charging Medicare for the services,a federal lawsuit says. Karina Chritensen of Waunakee Wisconsin says SouthernCare, an Alabama based hospice company with an office in Madison sats the company provided services to patients who didn’t have terminal illnesses. Medicare, the main payer for hospice care requires patients to have six months or less as determined by a doctor. The taxpayers are footing these bills. SouthernCare is a for profit company with 75 offices in 15 states. The whistleblower says that he supervisors encouraged enrollment of patients who weren’t terminally ill and fired her after she mentioned her concerns to the board of directors. The suit gives examples of dozens of patients including one person admitted as a cancer patient who doesn’t have cancer.