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.
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.