The former owner and operator of Los Angeles-based GreatCare Home Health Agency has been ordered to pay up to the tune of nearly $15 million—approximately three times the losses suffered by Medicare as a result of the agency’s illegal practices.
Hee Jung Mun, the home health agency’s owner, was issued a $14.9 million default judgment filed in July by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit that had been filed by GreatCare’s receptionist. The civil lawsuit against the agency alleged that GreatCare billed Medicare for home health services that were never rendered or were medically unnecessary.
The judgment against Mun and the whistleblower lawsuit were both concluded on Wednesday with the transfer of funds seized from accounts associated with Mun to the Treasury.
The U.S. Marshals service transferred the $1,297,958 seized in March 2011 by federal agents executing a search warrant at GreatCare and carrying out seizure warrants on GreatCare’s and Mun’s bank accounts.
GreatCare was found to have paid kickbacks to physicians and others in exchange for patient referrals to the home health agency. Mun pleaded guilty in January 2012 to healthcare fraud charges for her role in the scheme.
Dr. Dong Shin agreed in June to pay the United States $217,810 to resolve his civil liability for receiving kickbacks for referrals, a settlement amount based on the physician’s assessed ability to pay.
A physical therapist for GreatCare, Seonweon Kim, likewise agreed in June to pay the United States $205,000 to resolve his civil liability for participating in defrauding Medicare by creating false physical therapy notes that falsely indicated he had provided various services to patients.
Another referring physician, Dr. Whan Sil Kim, has agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million to the United States to resolve her liability in the civil action after pleading guilty to receiving kickbacks.
GreatCare’s receptionist at the time, Misha Kim, filed a lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act in March 2010. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.
Written by Alyssa Gerace