University of Pennsylvania Strikes Deal in Home Health Case

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has agreed to pay nearly $76,000 to settle whistleblower charges that its home health unit unlawfully billed Medicare, federal authorities recently announced.

Penn Care at Home, which serves Philadelphia as well as four nearby counties, submitted false claims to Medicare for services that were not rendered or were not reasonable or necessary, the charges stated.

Under the settlement, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania have agreed to pay $75,787, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced last Friday. In addition, UPHS will put in place new compliance oversight measures, which will include submitting certified compliance reports regarding its home health businesses to the U.S. Attorney’s office each year through 2019.

“The settlement releases UPHS from liability for conduct pertaining to a specific limited number of episodes of patient care,” the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office reads.

The health care system cooperated with investigators and welcomes the resolution of the case, a Penn spokeswoman told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The case had been pending in federal court. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, as well as U.S. Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General.

Penn Care at Home offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation services, home health aides, and supportive services, according to the organization’s website.

Written by Tim Mullaney