Home Health Company Pays $28K for Employing “Excluded” Individual
(STL.News) Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that CARECO MEDICAL, INC. and its owner and CEO, HELGA PFANNER, have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal government in which they will pay $28,246 to resolve allegations that they improperly employed an individual who was excluded from all federal healthcare programs. CareCo Medical (“CareCo”) is a Waterford-based home healthcare organization that provides skilled nursing services, medical social worker services, and rehabilitative therapies.
Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle explained that when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) excludes an individual or entity from federal health care programs, no program payments may be made for items or services furnished by that excluded individual or entity. In September 1999, HHS-OIG issued a Special Advisory Bulletin to provide guidance to health care providers who might employ or contract with an excluded individual or entity. In May 2013, HHS-OIG issued an Updated Special Advisory Bulletin containing additional guidance.
In 2012, Todd Roberts, a physical therapist, pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing a federal audit and, pursuant to a related civil settlement agreement, agreed to pay $328,828.