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Lincare to pay $29M to settle False Claims Act violations

Lincare to pay $29M to settle False Claims Act violations

SPOKANE, Wash. – Lincare has agreed to pay $29 million settlement to resolve claims that violated the False Claims Act by overbilling Medicare and Medicare Advantage, according to a press release from Vanessa Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. 

The settlement requires Lincare to refund wrongful payments made by Medicare beneficiaries and sets up accountability measures to prevent future fraudulent billing. 

In the settlement announced Aug. 28, Lincare admitted that it improperly billed Medicare, MA Plans, and beneficiaries for oxygen equipment rental payments and co-payments after it had already received three years of payments. Lincare admitted that it lacked adequate controls to ensure that MA Plans and beneficiaries were not improperly billed after three years of rental payments had already been received.  

Lincare additionally admitted that for traditional Medicare recipients, it had controls in place to prevent improper billing, but that those controls were not always effective.   

Finally, Lincare admitted that when Lincare employees raised concerns about Lincare’s billing practices, Lincare officials in its Regional Billing and Collections Office located in Spokane Valley, Washington, and at Lincare’s corporate headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, instructed them that Lincare would continue its billing practices.   

“I am appalled by Lincare’s admitted past practice of putting profits before its obligations to patients and to the Medicare program, and in particular by Lincare’s admitted improper practice of wrongfully collecting co-pays from elderly beneficiaries on fixed incomes and with limited means,” said Waldref.


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