Best Choice Settles False Medicaid Claims for $1.8M; Whistleblower to Get $43K

Posted: 11/29/2016  browse the blog archive
Best Choice Settles False Medicaid Claims for $1.8M; Whistleblower to Get $43K
Kansas-based Best Choice Home Health Care Agency Inc. (Best Choice) and its owner, Reginald King, have agreed to pay $1.8 million to resolve allegations that Best Choice and King violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks for the referral of Medicaid-covered patients for home and community-based healthcare services from Best Choice, the U.S. Department of Justice announced last month.
This settlement resolves allegations that Best Choice submitted claims for home and community-based healthcare services to Medicaid that resulted from a kickback arrangement between King, on behalf of Best Choice and Christopher Thomas, who transported patients from their homes to healthcare facilities in Kansas City.  Specifically, under this alleged arrangement, King paid Thomas $58,000 in kickbacks for new patients referred to Best Choice based on a formula which accounted for each hour of service that Best Choice billed to Medicaid. The Medicaid Program is a jointly-funded federal and state program.  Of the $1.8 million that King and Best Choice will pay under the settlement, the United States will receive $1,011,780 and the state of Kansas will receive $788,220.
The settlement resolves allegations originally brought under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act by Thomas, the recipient of the alleged kickbacks.  The act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the United States for false claims for government funds and to receive a share of any recovery.  The whistleblower reward in this case will be $43,178 which represents 10 percent of the federal share of the settlement, minus the amount that the relator received in kickbacks during the duration of the scheme.
The Chanler Group, in association with the Hirst Law Group, represents whistleblowers who take action under the False Claims Act to report fraud committed against the federal and state governments.  We have years of experience representing whistleblower clients who expose every kind of fraud against the government, including health care fraud, contract fraud, and tax fraud.  Read more about our expertise in False Claims Act cases and how you can take action.