Healthcare Provider Pleads Guilty To Medicare Fraud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Louisville-based healthcare company will pay more than $3 million in fines as part of a penalty for submitting false statements to Medicare.

HealthEssentials Solutions will also allow the government to pursue a $117 million claim against the company after admitting it deliberately filed false billing statements to Medicare.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the company - which sent nurse practitioners to nursing homes and private residences - would regularly bill visits to assisted-living facilities as visits to
private homes, which earns a higher reimbursement from Medicare.

The plea must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court before it is brought to a U.S. District Court judge for sentencing, and U.S. Attorney David Huber said it is doubtful the government will recover any of the proceeds.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-29-08 0600EDT

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