Healthcare supply company to pay $29M to settle fraud allegations

Lincare Holdings, a chemical company that provides oxygen equipment to patients with respiratory issues, has agreed to pay $29 million and perform corrective actions to resolve allegations of fraudulently overbilling Medicare. 

The Florida-based subsidiary of German corporation Linde admitted it improperly billed Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans and beneficiaries for equipment rental payments beyond the required three years from 2012 to 2023, according to an Aug. 30 news release from the Department of Justice. Medicare policies only require patients to pay rental costs for equipment for up to three years, after which companies like Lincare are required to continue to provide the equipment free of charge for the remainder of its use. 

As part of the settlement, Lincare entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with HHS and the Office of Inspector General, requiring the company implement a strict compliance and reporting program as well as billing reforms and practices, according to the release.

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