Village Home Care, its CEO, and two doctors agreed to pay $490,000 to settle False Claims Act allegations related to kickbacks.
Village Home Care, a Florida-based company, has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in kickback schemes with two physicians. The company allegedly used sham agreements to pay the doctors in exchange for patient referrals, which resulted in the submission of false claims to Medicare. Violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) inherently constitute False Claims Act violations when Medicare funds are implicated. Village Home Care’s CEO and majority owner, Joy Rodak, has separately agreed to pay $105,000 to resolve the allegations. In addition, Dr. Vishnu Reddy and Dr. Kuchakulla Reddy, the physicians involved in the kickback schemes, have agreed to pay $100,000 and $61,943.44 respectively to settle the claims against them.
The lawsuits against Village Home Care and Rodak were filed under the False Claims Act by whistleblowers who were former employees of the company. The whistleblowers will potentially receive a portion of the settlement as a reward for their involvement in exposing the fraudulent practices.
The coordinated effort between the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General led to the successful resolution of the case.
In response to the settlement, Jason T. Brown, a whistleblower attorney, stated, “This case highlights the importance of whistleblowers in uncovering fraud and protecting the integrity of federal healthcare programs. Whistleblowers play a crucial role in holding companies accountable for their fraudulent actions and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not misused. “Whistleblower attorneys like Brown, LLC provide legal support and representation to individuals who come forward to expose fraudulent activities and offer free, confidential consultations.