Plano-based Reliant Rehabilitation Holdings Inc. will pay the federal government $6.1 million to settle claims the company paid kickbacks to skilled nursing facilities and doctors. The Justice Department alleged Reliant, which is a massive national provider, violated the False Claims Act.
The feds say Reliant hooked up clients with nurse practitioners on the cheap or on the free, and that the violations took place between April 1, 2013, and May 1, 2017. Reliant settled the claims without admitting wrongdoing. The case was heard in the Northern District of Texas.
Here’s how a release from the Justice Department breaks it down:
The United States alleged that between April 1, 2013, and May 1, 2017, Reliant knowingly offered improper inducements, in the form of Reliant-employed nurse practitioners who worked at client nursing homes without charge or for a nominal, below fair market fee in order to induce or reward nursing homes for contracting with Reliant to provide rehabilitation therapy for their residents. The settlement between the United States and Reliant resolves this claim, as well as a separate allegation that Reliant violated the FCA by causing the submission of claims to Medicare that were tainted by improper contracts between Reliant and physicians working at skilled nursing facilities that offered the physicians above fair market compensation for supervising and collaborating with Reliant nurse practitioners in exchange for the facilities’ therapy business.
Reliant was founded in 2002 and has some 7,000 employees and 650 therapy sites.
Update: Reliant sent us over a statement, reiterating that it does not admit liability in the matter and saying that the company settled “in an effort to avoid the significant expense of litigation. The dispute involved the Reliant Medical Management program, which has since been terminated.
Commenting on the agreement, Reliant CEO Chris Bird said, “RMM is a program we discontinued more than a year ago and we are happy to have this matter behind us. We remain focused on our core contract therapy business of providing quality rehabilitation services to our customers and patients. Reliant is committed to maintaining a strong compliance program companywide and invests significant time and resources into training its employees on a wide variety of compliance topics.”