Policy: Entitlements

Amedisys: SEC ends Medicare-related investigation

News,Business,SEC,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission has wrapped up an investigation into Amedisys' participation in the federal Medicare program, and no enforcement actions will be recommended, the home health care and hospice services provider says.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, company had announced the investigation in June 2010 and said then that it also had received a Senate Finance Committee subpoena for documents. A month earlier, the Senate committee started an investigation into the billing practices of Amedisys and some other companies.

The investigation raised questions about whether the companies increased their number of patient visits out of medical necessity or in order to deliberately trigger higher Medicare reimbursements.

Earlier this year, Amedisys Inc. agreed to pay $150 million to resolve allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice that it had inflated Medicare billings and had improper financial relationships with referring physicians.

The agreement resolved False Claims Act allegations that, between 2008 and 2010, some Amedisys offices billed Medicare for unnecessary services and for patients who were not homebound and misrepresented patients' conditions to increase its Medicare payments.

Medicare helps cover health care costs for the elderly and disabled people.

Shares of Amedisys closed at $16.20 on Monday. That put the stock up about 11 percent so far this year.

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