Iowa hospice firm to settle Medicare billing case for $1.1M

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A company has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle claims that it improperly billed Medicare for treating dozens of patients who were ineligible to receive hospice benefits.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau in Cedar Rapids announced the settlement Friday with Iowa Hospice, LLC. He says the Medicare hospice benefit is only intended for terminally ill beneficiaries who need end of life care, and that his office will continue to “pursue all instances of misconduct in federal health care programs.”

The government alleged that Iowa Hospice knowingly billed Medicare for 34 patients between 2007 and 2013 who were completely or partially ineligible for the benefit. Only patients that have a medical prognosis of six months or less are qualified.

Iowa Hospice LLC doesn’t admit wrongdoing in the settlement.