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Federal investigators demand Amedisys documents

Tue, 09/28/2010 - 5:45am
The Associated Press

Home health services provider Amedisys Inc. said Tuesday the U.S. Department of Justice wants the company to turn over clinical and business operation documents under a civil investigative demand linked to the federal False Claims Act.

The news sent Amedisys shares tumbling more than 10 percent in morning trading.

The Baton Rouge, La., company said the documents include reimbursement and billing claims for home health services submitted to Medicare going back to Jan. 1, 2003. Amedisys said it will cooperate with the Justice Department.

Medicare fraud has been a focus of the health care debate with the Obama administration promising to help pay for the health care overhaul by cutting down on the abuse. Questions were raised earlier this year about whether home health agencies boosted the number of visits they made to patients in order to reach the threshold at which Medicare reimburses providers an additional $2,200. As a result, the Senate Finance Committee launched an investigation.

Amedisys, along with industry peers LHC Group Inc., Almost Family Inc. and Gentiva Health Services, have reported receiving formal notice of investigations and subpoenas for documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission. All have said they are cooperating.

Amedisys shares fell $2.91, or 10.2 percent, to $25.52 in morning trading.

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