- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - A Miami home health company has agreed to pay $17 million for allegedly paying doctors to refer Medicare patients.

Department of Justice officials said Tuesday that the settlement with Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc. is the largest involving alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute by skilled nursing facilities in the United States.

Prosecutors said Hebrew Homes hired numerous physicians as medical directors, paying them large salaries even though they did little work and were only there to refer patients to their seven facilities. The number of patients at Hebrew Homes facilities increased exponentially once the medical directors were put on the payroll.

The Anti-Kickback Statute is intended to ensure that a physician’s medical judgment is not compromised by improper financial incentives.

The settlement resolves allegations brought in a whistleblower suit by a former CFO of the company.

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