National hospital chain Vibra Healthcare LLC will pay Uncle Same $32.7 million to end a False Claims Act whistleblower case alleging billing Medicare and Medicaid for unneceaary services. The government alleged that between 2006 and 2013, Vibra admitted numerous patients to five of its long term care hospitals (LTCH’s) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF’s) who did not demonstrate signs or symptoms that would qualify them for admissions. In addition, the company allegedly extended stays of LTCH patients without regard to medical necessity, qualifications and/or quality of care. In some cases Vibra was said to have ignored the recommendations of its own clinicians who deemed these patients ready for discharge.
The case was originally filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Sylvia Daniel, a former health information coder at Vibra Hospital of Southeastern Michigan. She filed in the Southern District of Texas where one of Vibra’s LTCH’s was located. Under this law a private party can file on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the recovery. Daniel will receive at least $ 4 million.
The company did not admit liability.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers but not in this case.