On September 8, 2021, the US Department of Justice announced Bayada Home Health Care will pay $17 million to settle an alleged kickback scheme. Despite Bayada’s settlement, company executives still maintain they committed no wrongdoing.
The central controversy in this case involved a pair of home health care facilities Bayada bought from an Arizona retirement company. Allegedly, when Bayada purchased these properties, it forced the retirement company to refer Medicare recipients to Bayada.
The US DOJ further alleged Bayada used this scheme to illegally request Medicare payment claims. Supposedly, all of these transactions occurred between January 2014 and October 2020.
If these accusations are true, Bayada would have breached the False Claims Act’s Anti-Kickback Statute. This law forbids entities involved in federal health care from asking for or accepting money to recommend their services.
Bayada agreed to settle this case with $17 million, but it still believes it was innocent. Spokespeople for Bayada claim the company only wanted to settle this case to better concentrate on its primary goal: providing premier patient care.
Speaking of patient care, Bayada said none of the US Government’s allegations had anything to do with its treatment of patients. The company went on to claim all of the treatments they provided to patients were necessary.
Another aspect of this settlement involved a whistleblower provision related to former Bayada employee David Freedman. Between 2009 – 2016, Freedman served as Bayada’s director of strategic growth. The US DOJ estimates Freedman will receive $3 million as a result of this settlement.
For its part, the US DOJ claims this settlement was a significant win for both patients’ rights and the federal healthcare system. DOJ leaders claim their investigation into Bayada has had a positive role in deterring fraud from national healthcare.
To further combat fraud in healthcare, the DOJ encourages citizens to contact the US Department of Health and Human Services. Anyone could use the number (800) HHS-TIPS to report suspected fraud.
Founded in the 1970s, Bayada provides at-home medical assistance to thousands of patients around the world. Although Bayada is headquartered in New Jersey, it has hundreds of offices across the USA, Asia, and Europe.