PHILADELPHIA – A False Claims Act lawsuit filed against Bayada Home Health Care Inc. by the United States in response to allegations made by three former Bayada employees will be allowed to proceed, according to a Sept. 24 opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In the lawsuit, the government said former Bayada employees Susan Class, Kendra Banta and Susan Davis alleged that Bayada “falsely billed Medicare for home health services provided to patients that it knew were not ‘homebound,’” the opinion said. The ruling said Class, Banta and Davis also claimed that the company “submitted false statements in support of such bills” and “retained payments for such false claims.”
Bayada asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the former employees signed separation agreements when they left the company, releasing it from “any and all claims.”
According to the opinion, several Bayada employees knew the company was providing home health care services to clients who did not need them, and some patients refused Bayada’s services or asked to “be removed from home health services because they no longer required such care.”
U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg Wikipedia
Davis alleges that Bayada officials asked her to contact the patients who stopped receiving care in an effort to convince them to resume services. The court said the complaint also alleges that one of Bayada’s physical therapists kept treating patients for longer than necessary, including some patients who informed the company they no longer needed physical therapy.
In addition, the opinion said, Class, Banta and Davis provided “information about three patients they claim were billed to the government using false records that contained false assessment data, or who were admitted and billed by Bayada despite non-qualification for home health services.”
Judge Mitchell Goldberg said in his Sept. 24 ruling, “I conclude that relators have standing to bring their FCA claims.”