The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on October 18 that Oklahoma-based Carter Healthcare LLC and its affiliates, plus two executives, agreed to pay a total of over $30 million to resolve two separate qui tam cases. One lawsuit claimed that Carter paid remuneration to physicians in Oklahoma and Texas to induce referrals of Medicare and TRICARE home healthcare patients between 2013 and 2020, and the second alleged that Carter billed the Medicare program for medically unnecessary home healthcare services for patients in Florida between 2014 and 2016.
Both lawsuits were brought under the False Claims Act, as submitting claims based on such wrongful conduct violates the FCA. The settlement in the Oklahoma case was $22,948,004 and the settlement in the Florida case was $7,175,000, of which the company’s President and Chief Operations Officer will pay a total of $250,000. The executives also agreed to be excluded from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal healthcare programs for five years.
Previously, DOJ announced on September 30 that home healthcare company owners Patricia Omorogbe and Felix Omorogbe were sentenced to two years and 18 months in prison, respectively, for participating in a $6.7 million fraud scheme. From 2009 to 2018, the Omorogbes paid bribes and kickbacks to patient marketers in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to their three home health companies in Michigan and Indiana. Patricia Omorogbe was also ordered to pay $6,643,094 in restitution, and Felix Omorogbe was ordered to pay $1,592,362 in restitution.
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