Providers Settle Cases Over Provider Relief Fund
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is pursuing entities that do not comply with Provider Relief Fund (PRF) terms and conditions, which includes a certification that the provider is not excluded or has its billing privileges suspended. According to a Report on Medicare Compliance article (subscription required), three providers have settled allegations they made false statements in order to receive money from the PRF, according to the OIG. A medical group in Florida agreed to pay $165,608 in a civil monetary penalty (CMP) settlement after it was alleged that an employee of the group attested in the PRF portal that its Medicare billing privileges had not been revoked (a condition of eligibility) when, according to OIG’s website, at the time of attestation its Medicare billing privileges had in fact been revoked. A home health care agency in Stafford Texas, along with the individual who signed the attestation, agreed to pay $15,123 in a CMP after, according to the OIG, false statements were made in the PRF portal claiming eligibility to receive a PRF payment, when instead, the agency’s Medicare billing privileges had been revoked. Finally, an endoscopy center located in California agreed to pay $66,715 for falsely attesting when applying for its PRF payment that the center was currently treating patients and that its physician had current billing privileges.