WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice has announced Vibra Healthcare LLC (Vibra), a national hospital chain with headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, will pay $32.7 million after allegations it violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare for unnecessary services.

“Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to receive care that is determined by their clinical needs and not the financial interests of health care providers,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

“All providers of taxpayer-funded federal health care services, whether contractors or direct billers, will be held accountable when their actions cause false claims for medically unnecessary services to be submitted.”

Vibra operates freestanding long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and deals with patients needing long-term stays for complex medical issues and patients needing rehabilitative services that require hospital-level care.

According to the Justice Department, Vibra admitted numerous patients to its facilities between 2006 to 2013 that should not have qualified for admission. Additionally, it often extended the stay for patients without regard to actual medical necessity.

The health care company allegedly even ignored the recommendation of its own clinicians who deemed these patients ready for discharge.

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