- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
Maxim Healthcare to pay $150M to settle fraud charges
Largest civil penalty in cases of home care
NEWARK, N.J. — A Maryland-based health care company accused of defrauding Medicaid and other federal programs will pay $150 million in a settlement announced Monday.
Maxim Healthcare Systems is a health care staffing agency based in Columbia, Md., with offices in more than 40 states. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors announced Monday, Maxim will pay a criminal penalty of $20 million and civil penalties totaling approximately $130 million to Medicaid programs and the Veterans Affairs program.
About $70 million will go to the federal government and $60 million will go to 42 states where false claims were made. Tony West, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil division, said it was the largest civil settlement in a home health care fraud case.
“Health care fraud costs taxpayers money; in this case, a lot of money,” Mr. West said. “This is not acceptable because each of us ends up footing the bill in higher health care costs.”
Authorities had investigated the company for the past five years and charged it with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for submitting claims for services that were never provided and operating offices that weren’t properly licensed.
“We take full responsibility for these events … and we are pleased to reach a settlement that will allow us to move forward with the important work of caring for our patients and clients who depend on us each and every day,” Maxim CEO Brad Bennett said in a statement.
Nine Maxim employees — including three regional account managers, a supervising nurse and a home health aide — have pleaded guilty to either health care fraud or making false statements since December 2009 and face maximum prison sentences of between five and 10 years.
Though none of the company’s top executives have been charged, J. Gilmore Childers, acting U.S. attorney for New Jersey, said the investigation was ongoing. Mr. Childers said the regional managers who pleaded guilty were responsible for hundreds of employees and millions of dollars in revenue each year.
The investigation began after a New Jersey man notified authorities that Maxim had submitted invoices for services he never received.
Reached at his home Monday, 63-year-old Richard West, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 1981, directed inquiries to a website that describes his involvement in the case.
According to Mr. West’s Web account, he learned that his Medicaid home health care services would be reduced or suspended because he had already exceeded his monthly limit. When he consulted a log he had kept of his home care, he realized the accounting was incorrect. He eventually contacted authorities, who concluded that Maxim had billed Medicaid for 735 hours of service that were never provided.
“From my wheelchair on a ventilator and oxygen, I have spent the last seven years in this fight,” Mr. West writes on the website. “Sometimes the good guys win.”
Under terms of the settlement, Mr. West will receive more than $15 million. Maxim, which Mr. Childers said employs about 88,000 people, will continue to operate under the oversight of an independent monitor for two years.
According to the criminal complaint, Maxim submitted false bills from 2003 to 2009, a period during which it received more than $2 billion in reimbursements from government health programs.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow