Halunen Law is co-counsel in False Claims Act whistleblower settlement for nearly $10 million

January 12th, 2024

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Atlantic Home Health Care settles fraud allegations related to kickback scheme and abuse of “telehealth” 

Washington, DC—January 6, 2024: Atlantic Home Health Care, LLC, (AHH), operating in Arizona and eight other states, agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle allegations the company deprived patients suffering from radiation exposure of needed in-home care and instead contacted patients by telephone. The lawsuit was filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Phillips & Cohen LLP and Halunen Law PLLC in the U.S. District Court in the District of Arizona.

The lawsuit involved fraud related to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), which provides compensation and free medical treatment for radiation-related illnesses caused by testing of nuclear weapons during World War II and the Cold War. For many victims, the devastating impact of this exposure took decades to become symptomatic. 

In its complaint, the United States alleged that, between 2017 and 2021, AHH falsely billed the Energy Program for services provided by unqualified people and for in-home nursing and personal care supposedly provided by employees were not physically present in patients’ homes. The government also alleged that AHH paid kickbacks, in the form of cash payments up to $5,000 for patient referrals via its “friends and family program” and in-kind payments for food, internet, travel, and other expenses made to patients and their families. 

The investigation and resolution of this matter illustrate the government’s emphasis on combating healthcare fraud, the power of a courageous whistleblower, and one of the most formidable tools in this effort — the False Claims Act.

Halunen Law FCA attorney Susan Coler, a co-counsel on the case, stated, “We are gratified that this case resolves allegations that Home Health Care deprived an extremely vulnerable population of needed in-person home healthcare while receiving money from the government for services it did not provide. The False Claims Act did its work here of challenging alleged egregious misconduct that has the potential to harm both the patients involved and taxpayers, who intend their funds to be used for their intended purpose.”

Read the Department of Justice’s press release on this case. 

Read the press release from Phillips & Cohen

Learn more about the False Claims Act and Halunen Law’s expertise in these complex cases.

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