Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kindred Settles with Justice Department for $125 million


Kindred's presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference could be more interesting, given the company's announcement of a $125 million settlement with the federal government over fraudulent billing practices by its RehabCare division. 

The questionable billing/kickback practices occurred from January 1, 2009 to September 30, 2013.  Kindred bought RehabCare on June 1, 2011. 

The Justice Department alleged Kindred presumptively placed patients in the ultrahigh category, which requires 720 minutes of therapy a week. They said Kindred reported therapy minutes had been provided when patients were sleeping or unable to benefit from the treatment, among other allegations.

Sometimes managers pressured therapists to provide more services, according to court records.

According to a therapist’s note filed in the suit, the therapist wanted to discharge a patient on April 10, 2011. But, a RehabCare manager instructed the therapist to keep the patient an extra couple of days because the facility “needed to have the minutes so that they would get a ‘bigger reimbursement,’” the note said.

And this bigger reimbursement did what to the Kindred manager's pay?  Herein lies the evil in healthcare today where pay for performance becomes pay for distortion (or extortion in the case of Kindred). 

I doubt Kindred executives talk much at all about the settlement, calling it yesterday's news.  That news caused a new 52 week low of $9.23 in the company's stock price.  Will the J.P. Morgan investor presentation stem the freefall in Kindred's stock price from a high of $24.66?

Anonymous from Kindred

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