The former owner of Providence Home Health and Providence Hospice has agreed to pay $1.05 million to settle claims she knowingly and willfully paid improper kickbacks for referrals of Medicare patients to her businesses, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Miranda Bennett of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (DHHS-OIG).
This is a whistleblower case filed by two employees. They alleged that Teresita Alquero paid kickbacks to a medical director for Providence. The payments exceeded fair market value, so as to induce him to refer Medicare patients to Providence for home health and hospice services.
Alquero also allegedly submitted false claims under the name of a physician who was apparently incarcerated at the time. Thus, he could not have performed the services for which she was reimbursed.