The owner of a health care company headquarters in Lemont admitted in federal court on Wednesday that he paid illegal kickbacks to procure referrals of elderly patients on Medicare.
Romy Macasaet Jr. paid kickbacks to medical directors to obtain referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to his company,Home Bound Healthcare Inc., which was one of the largest home health care and hospice companies in Illinois. Mascasaet acknowledged in a plea agreement that he retained and paid Medical Directors a monthly fee solely for the purpose of obtaining patient referrals, and not for medical services. Macasaet also acknowledged that he used Medical Director agreements as a way to conceal his kickbacks.
Between approximately December 2006 and September 2014, Macasaet paid $789,327 in bribe payments to approximately 20 medical directors, according to the plea agreement. As a result of the payments, Home Bound improperly sought and received Medical reimbursements totaling several million dollars.
Macasaet, 47, of Homewood pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. The conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison. U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan set sentencing for Feb. 15, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Macasaet and Home Bound also agreed to pay the United States $6.8 million to resolve civil false claim and anti-kickback allegations, per the terms of a settlement agreement announced on Wednesday. The agreement settles claims that Home bound and its subsidiaries violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by obtaining referrals through illegal kickbacks that served as financial inducements for false certifications of eligibility for home health services, and by improperly submitting those false claims to Medicare for reimbursement.
As part of the civil settlement, Macasaet agreed to immediately resign his employment with Home Bound and refrain from seeking future employment with the company. Macasaet further agreed to divest his ownerships interest in home bound withing 120 days of formal entry of the agreement.
Contemporaneous to the settlement agreement, Home Bound and the HHS Inspector General’s Office entered into a corporate integrity agreement to promote compliance with the directives of Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs. As part of the integrity agreement, Home Bound must establish a compliance program to develop and implement policies, procedures and practices designed to ensure compliance with the requirements of federal health care programs.