Friday, September 30, 2016

Kindred Pays Record CIA Fine


Just in case you missed it.  The Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services announced:

Kindred Health Care, Inc., the nation's largest provider of post-acute care, including hospice and home health services, has paid a penalty of more than $3 million for failing to comply with a corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with the Federal Government, Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson announced today.

It is the largest penalty for violations of a CIA to date, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) said.

The record penalty resulted from Kindred's failure to correct improper billing practices in the fourth year of the five-year agreement. OIG made several unannounced site visits to Kindred facilities and found ongoing violations.

The message from on high is to grow and there's significant pressure to admit patients.  It's been that way for years, under both Gentiva and Kindred.

CIA-required audits performed by Kindred's internal auditors in 2013, 2014, and 2015 found that the company and its predecessors had failed to implement policies and procedures required by the CIA and that poor claims submission practices had led to significant error rates and overpayments by Medicare.

Kindred was billing Medicare for hospice care for patients who were ineligible for hospice services or who were not eligible for the highest level and most highly paid category of service, OIG said.

That level would be general inpatient care or GIP.

A higher up shared the company refunded over $1 million to Medicare.  That fits with the over $3 million penalty as the government levels treble damages.  So that's a $4 million hit, all of it due to bad management.

I wonder if this will impact Kindred at Home President David Causby's $1 million bonus due September 2017?  He became Gentiva's COO in October 2013.  That means Causby was "leading the day-to-day operations of our business" for all but ten months of the period covered in the settlement.

Meeting admission criteria and accurate billing are critical day-to-day operations. For much of the review period Causby was the accountable leader.

Anonymous (from Kindred at Home)


  1. What a joke, $3-4MM payback on a billion or so in homecare revenues. Sure it will impact some metrics, raises and lower level bonuses but it's pocket change otherwise.

  2. Not sure how this is funny. Kindred's management team, like Gentiva's, will use any excuse to line their pockets at the expense of people doing the actual work. This $4 million cash outlay comes at a time management is working on health insurance. We'll see how much worse benefits get all the while management is telling employees how valuable we are and how the company wants to be competitive in the benefit arena.

    Management not living up to their CIA promises and continuing unethical behavior should be very concerning to the Board of Directors. It has similar elements to Wells Fargo, just on a smaller scale. Calling it a joke minimizes the situation, especially as it is a record CIA fine.

  3. Sorry, "joke" in this instance refers to the relatively small size of the fine. The million might have be trebled but it definitely wasn't extrapolated across the entire universe of claims as other audits usually are. Good luck to those who actually work for this entity.