WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) – Crossroads Hospice, a care group operating in Ohio and Tennessee, has agreed to pay $5.5 million to resolve fraud allegations.

According to a release by the United States Department of Justice, Crossroads Hospice was accused of violating the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare for non-covered hospice services.

This settlement resolves allegations that Crossroads Hospice knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare for hospice services for patients who were not terminally ill, the release said.  According to the settlement agreement, the United States said that from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2014, Crossroads Hospice billed Medicare for hospice care for certain patients diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who were not terminally ill for at least part of the three or more years that the patients were under the hospice’s care.

These claims were brought up under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by three former Crossroads Hospice employees, Leanne Malone, Jackie Burns and Angela Heck, as well as a home health physician in Tennessee, Dr. David Weber, the release said.

“This office is committed to pursuing providers who put profits ahead of patients,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel for the Southern District of Ohio. “We will continue to hold accountable those who abuse federal healthcare programs at the expense of the taxpayers.”

Tips or complaints concerning potential fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services by calling 800-447-8477