Last week, a major settlement between the United States Department of Justice and Caris Healthecare, L.P., a hospice provider, was announced. The $8.5 million agreement was brought by a whistleblower who was represented by lawyers from New York-based Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman, LLP and Provost Umphrey Law Firm, LLP.

Caris, the defendant, provides hospice services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina.

Milberg partner Anna C. Dover and associate J. Birt Reynolds represented the whistleblower or “relator” with  Provost Umphrey’s W. Michael Hamilton. The case was filed under seal on May 22, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The relator, a Registered Nurse, alleged that Caris was admitting and recertifying patients for hospice when they did not meet the appropriate admissions or recertification criteria. Specifically, Caris directed patients be admitted into hospice even when the nurse performing the admissions assessment recommended the patient not be admitted. Caris also instructed its nurses to “chart negatively,” or only document things that showed the patient was declining. Caris also directed nurses to change their assessment notes and, at times, deleted information that showed the patient was stable or improving. The United States filed its Complaint in Intervention on Oct. 11, 2016. Pursuant to the False Claims Act provisions, the Relator will be awarded $1,402,500 from the Government’s recovery.

The settlement was also handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the United States Department of Justice and the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Leaders In The Law has covered Milberg’s verdicts in 2017 New York’s Leading Personal Injury Lawyers.