Bayada to pay $17 million to settle kickback allegations
Bayada, a national home health care company with a location at 368 Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth, has agreed to pay $17 million to settle allegations the business made illegal kickbacks to receive patient referrals and subsequent Medicare payments, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Justice Department alleges that Bayada bought two home health agencies from a retirement home operator in Arizona. In exchange, the release states, the retirement home operator would allegedly refer Medicare patients to Bayada.
As a result of this kickback transaction, Bayada then submitted false claims for payment to Medicare for services provided to these beneficiaries, the Justice Department alleges.
These false payment claims were made from Jan. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2020, the release states.
“Parties who pay or receive kickbacks in order to induce referrals undermine the integrity of the healthcare system,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“This resolution reflects the department’s commitment to protect the right of federal health care program beneficiaries to receive medical care that is not influenced by the financial interests of their health care providers,’’ he said.
Bayada’s actions violate the False Claims Act’s Anti-Kickback Statute, the release states.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits parties who participate in federal health care programs from knowingly and willfully offering, paying or receiving any remuneration in order to induce the recommendation of any item for which payment is made in whole or in part under a covered federal health care program.
The prohibition extends to asset purchases that are intended to induce referrals.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, the release states. There has been no determination of liability.
A representative from Bayada said that the company “does not believe it has done anything wrong and continues to deny the allegations’’ but agreed to the settlement “to avoid the significant expense of protracted litigation.’’
The company notes that “the allegations in this matter do not relate in any way to patient care. All of the care provided to our patients was medically necessary.’’ The government, the response said, does not allege otherwise.