In civil lawsuits, people frequently have their depositions taken. A deposition is a question and answer session under oath between a witness and at least one attorney. When the witness is testifying on behalf of one party, either the plaintiff or the defendant, How To Find An Attorney By Specialty in Roodepoort the opposing party’s attorney will do most of the questioning. Usually, the lawyers for all parties are in the room, although not all of the attorneys present choose to ask questions. There is usually a court reporter present taking down what everyone says on a stenotype machine. There are many reasons for lawyers to take legal depositions.
Here are just a few. Rules The most prominent reason someone has to give a deposition is because a lawyer is not allowed to simply call up a witness for the other side and start asking questions. In fact, Injury Attorney Near Me they are not allowed to speak to them about the case when that person has been designated as a witness for another party. Instead, it must be done in a formal setting. The witness is usually subpoenaed and the lawyer that has designated that person as a witness will usually be present.Information When an attorney believes someone has information that will lead to discoverable evidence in a civil case, they are allowed to take their deposition.
The witness is required by law to cooperate and answer fully and honestly any of the proper questions asked by the lawyers. Oftentimes, the lawyer may not know all of the important facts of the case. There may be people, objective third parties, who witnessed a car accident or that have factual information that is crucial to the case. Learning what they know about it may shed light on the case before it goes to court. This prevents one side from springing surprises on the other during trial.Intimidation On rare occasions, an attorney will take the deposition of a witness for the other side to intimidate or make the person nervous.
What Types of Cases Does a Family Lawyer Handle?
This is more common in domestic dispute matters, such as child custody or divorce cases. It also happens more often to the plaintiff, Auto Injury Lawyers Near Me the party bringing the lawsuit. This is sometimes done to make sure the witness knows the lawyer means business. Playing hardball in a deposition is what happens when the attorney is purposefully trying to make the witness uncomfortable. This may be done to make sure they tell the truth and to find out if the person will drop the case, rather than have to go through similar questioning in court, as well if the case goes to trial.
How To Find An Attorney By Specialty in Roodepoort ?
Flag of a United States Attorney. United States Attorneys (also known as chief federal prosecutors and, historically, as United States District Attorneys) represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings. There are 93 U.S. Attorney offices located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. As of June 2017, most of the U.S. Attorney positions have been held by acting or interim appointees since at least March.[note 1] One U.S. Attorney is assigned to each of the judicial districts, with the exception of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands where a single U.S. Attorney serves both districts. Each U.S. Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction, acting under the guidance of the United States Attorneys' Manual. They supervise district offices with as many as 350 Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) and as many as 350 support personnel. An Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), or federal prosecutor, is a public official who represents the federal government on behalf of the U.S. Attorney (USA) in criminal prosecutions. In carrying out their duties, AUSAs have the authority to investigate persons, issue subpoenas, file formal criminal charges, plea bargain with defendants, and grant immunity to witnesses and accused criminals. U.S. Attorneys and their offices are part of the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorneys receive oversight, supervision, and administrative support services through the Justice Department's Executive Office for United States Attorneys. Selected U.S. Attorneys participate in the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys. The Office of the United States Attorney was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, along with the office of Attorney General and the United States Marshals Service. The same act also specified the structure of the Supreme Court of the United States and established inferior courts making up the United States Federal Judiciary, including a district court system. Thus, the office of U.S. Attorney is older than the Department of Justice. The Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for the appointment in each judicial district of a "Person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States...whose duty it shall be to prosecute in each district all delinquents for crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States shall be concerned..." Prior to the existence of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorneys were independent of the Attorney General, and did not come under the AG's supervision and authority until 1870, with the creation of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney is appointed by the President of the United States for a term of four years, with appointments subject to confirmation by the Senate. A U.S. Attorney continues in office, beyond the appointed term, until a successor is appointed and qualified. By law, each United States attorney is subject to removal by the President. The Attorney General has had the authority since 1986 to appoint interim U.S. Attorneys to fill a vacancy. Main article: Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy The governing statute, 28 U.S.C. § 546 provided, up until March 9, 2007: (c) A person appointed as United States attorney under this section may serve until the earlier of— (1) the qualification of a United States attorney for such district appointed by the President under section 541 of this title; or (2) the expiration of 120 days after appointment by the Attorney General under this section. (d) If an appointment expires under subsection (c)(2), the district court for such district may appoint a United States attorney to serve until the vacancy is filled. The order of appointment by the court shall be filed with the clerk of the court. On March 9, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the USA PATRIOT Act which amended Section 546 by striking subsections (c) and (d) and inserting the following new subsection: (c) A person appointed as United States attorney under this section may serve until the qualification of a United States Attorney for such district appointed by the President under section 541 of this title. This, in effect, extinguished the 120-day limit on interim U.S. Attorneys, and their appointment had an indefinite term. If the president failed to put forward any nominee to the Senate, then the Senate confirmation process was avoided, as the Attorney General-appointed interim U.S. Attorney could continue in office without limit or further action. Related to the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy, in March 2007 the Senate and the House voted to overturn the amendments of the USA PATRIOT Act to the interim appointment statute. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush, and became law in June 2007. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, California), summarized the history of interim United States Attorney appointments, on March 19, 2007 in the Senate. The U.S. Attorney is both the primary representative and the administrative head of the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the district. The U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) is the chief prosecutor for the United States in criminal law cases, and represents the United States in civil law cases as either the defendant or plaintiff, as appropriate. However, they are not the only one that can represent the United States in Court. In certain circumstances, using an action called a qui tam, any U.S. citizen, provided they are represented by an attorney, can represent the interests of the United States, and share in penalties assessed against guilty parties. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia has the additional responsibility of prosecuting local criminal cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the equivalent of a municipal court for the national capital. The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) provides the administrative support for the 93 United States Attorneys (encompassing 94 United States Attorneys' offices, as the Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands has a single U.S. Attorney for both districts), including: These responsibilities include certain legal, budgetary, administrative, and personnel services, as well as legal education. The EOUSA was created on April 6, 1953, by Attorney General Order No. 8-53 to provide for close liaison between the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, and the 93 U.S. attorneys located throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was organized by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge James R. Browning, who also served as its first chief. U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma (USAO) U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming Note: Except as indicated parenthetically, the foregoing links are to the corresponding district court, rather than to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. See also: List of former United States district courts This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ^ "United States v. Curry, 47 U.S. (6 How.) 106". justia.com. ^ William Bennett Munro (1919). The Government of the United States. Macillan. p. 370. Retrieved November 30, 2010. ^ William M. McKinney; William Mark McKinney; Burdett Alberto Riched (1918). 22. Ruling Case Law. Edward Thompson Co. p. 103. ^ "Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations (Table of Contents) - Criminal Justice Section". ^ The Editorial Board (2017-06-06). "Where Are the United States Attorneys?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-06. ^ Savage, Charlie; Haberman, Maggie (2017-03-10). "Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-06. ^ "US Attorneys' Manual". usdoj.gov. ^ "United States Attorney Office for the District of Columbia". usdoj.gov. Retrieved November 10, 2007. ^  Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations ^ Sisk, Gregory C. (2nd Edition Editors: John Steadman, David Schwartz &, Sidney B. Jacoby) (2006). Litigation With the Federal Government (2nd Edition). ALI-ABA (American Law Institute – American Bar Association). pp. 12–14. ISBN 0-8318-0865-9. ^ Partial access online. Google Books. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 541(a). ^ 28 U.S.C. § 541(b). ^ 28 U.S.C. § 541(b) ^ 28 U.S.C. § 541(c). ^ "E:\PUBLAW\PUBL177.109 US Politics Blog" (PDF). uspolitics.about.com. Retrieved November 30, 2010. ^ "House votes to strip U.S. Attorney provision". Think Progress. March 26, 2007. ^ Michael Roston (June 15, 2007). "Bush signs bill to preserve US Attorneys' 'independence'". Raw Story. ^ Congressional Record, March 19, 2007, 2007 Congressional Record, Vol. 153, Page S3240 -S3241) ^ see generally 28 U.S.C. § 547 ^ "US Attorneys' Manual. Title 1, section 1-2.500". usdoj.gov. ^ "attorneys, lawyers and law firms listed in Martindale's Attorney Directory". ^ http://www.judgepedia.org/index.php/William_Roshko/ ^ "US Attorneys' Manual, Title 3". usdoj.gov. ^ "History of the Federal Judiciary". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
Hospice Fraud - A Review For Employees, Whistleblowers, Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms
Hospice fraud in South Carolina and the United States is an increasing problem as the number of hospice patients has exploded over the past few years. From 2004 to 2008, the number of patients receiving hospice care in the United States grew almost 40% to nearly 1.5 million, and of the 2.5 million people who died in 2008, nearly one million were hospice patients. The overwhelming majority of people receiving hospice care receive federal benefits from the federal government through the Medicare or Medicaid programs. The health care providers who provide hospice services traditionally enroll in the Medicare and Medicaid programs in order to qualify to receive payments under these government programs for services rendered to Medicare and Medicaid eligible patients.While most hospice health care organizations provide appropriate and ethical treatment for their hospice patients, because hospice eligibility under Medicare and Medicaid involves clinical judgments which may result in the payments of large sums of money from the federal government, there are tremendous opportunities for fraudulent practices and false billing claims by unscrupulous hospice care providers. As recent federal hospice fraud enforcement actions have demonstrated, the number of health care companies and individuals who are willing to try to defraud the Medicare and Medicaid hospice benefits programs is on the rise.A recent example of hospice fraud involving a South Carolina hospice is Southern Care, Inc., a hospice company that in 2009 paid $24.7 million to settle an FCA case. The defendant operated hospices in 14 other states, too, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The alleged frauds were that patients were not eligible for hospice, to wit, were not terminally ill, lack of documentation of terminal illnesses, and that the company marketed to potential patients with the promise of free medications, supplies, and the provision of home health aides. Southern Care also entered into a 5-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the OIG as part of the settlement. The qui tam relators received almost $5 million.Understanding the Consequences of Hospice Fraud and Whistleblower ActionsU.S. and South Carolina consumers, including hospice patients and their family members, and health care employees who are employed in the hospice industry, as well as their SC lawyers and attorneys, should familiarize themselves with the basics of the hospice care industry, hospice eligibility under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and hospice fraud schemes that have developed across the country. Consumers need to protect themselves from unethical hospice providers, and hospice employees need to guard against knowingly or unwittingly participating in health care fraud against the federal government because they may subject themselves to administrative sanctions, including lengthy exclusions from working in an organization which receives federal funds, enormous civil monetary penalties and fines, and criminal sanctions, including incarceration. When a hospice employee discovers fraudulent conduct involving Medicare or Medicaid billings or claims, the employee should not participate in such behavior, and it is imperative that the unlawful conduct be reported to law enforcement and/or regulatory authorities. Not only does reporting such fraudulent Medicare or Medicaid practices shield the hospice employee from exposure to the foregoing administrative, civil and criminal sanctions, but hospice fraud whistleblowers may benefit financially under the reward provisions of the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3732, by bringing false claims suits, also known as qui tam or whistleblower suits, against their employers on behalf of the United States.Types of Hospice Care ServicesHospice care is a type of health care service for patients who are terminally ill. Hospices also provide support services for the families of terminally ill patients. This care includes physical care and counseling. Hospice care is normally provided by a public agency or private company approved by Medicare and Medicaid. Hospice care is available for all age groups, including children, adults, and the elderly who are in the final stages of life. The purpose of hospice is to provide care for the terminally ill patient and his or her family and not to cure the terminal illness.If a patient qualifies for hospice care, the patient can receive medical and support services, including nursing care, medical social services, doctor services, counseling, homemaker services, and other types of services. The hospice patient will have a team of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors and trained volunteers to help the patient and his or her family members cope with the symptoms and consequences of the terminal illness. While many hospice patients and their families can receive hospice care in the comfort of their home, if the hospice patient's condition deteriorates, the patient can be transferred to a hospice facility, hospital, or nursing home to receive hospice care.Hospice Care StatisticsThe number of days that a patient receives hospice care is often referenced as the "length of stay" or "length of service." The length of service is dependent on a number of different factors, including but not limited to, the type and stage of the disease, the quality of and access to health care providers before the hospice referral, and the timing of the hospice referral. In 2008, the median length of stay for hospice patients was about 21 days, the average length of stay was about 69 days, almost 35% of hospice patients died or were discharged within 7 days of the hospice referral, and only about 12% of hospice patients survived longer than 180 days.Most hospice care patients receive hospice care in private homes (40%). Other locations where hospice services are provided are nursing homes (22%), residential facilities (6%), hospice inpatient facilities (21%), and acute care hospitals (10%). Hospice patients are generally the elderly, and hospice age group percentages are 34 years or less (1%), 35 - 64 years (16%), 65 - 74 years (16%), 75 - 84 years (29%), and over 85 years (38%). As for the terminal illness resulting in a hospice referral, cancer is the diagnosis for almost 40% of hospice patients, followed by debility unspecified (15%), heart disease (12%), dementia (11%), lung disease (8%), stroke (4%) and kidney disease (3%). Medicare pays the great majority of hospice care expenses (84%), followed by private insurance (8%), Medicaid (5%), charity care (1%) and self pay (1%).As of 2008, there were approximately 4,700 locations which were providing hospice care in the United States, which represented about a 50% increase over ten years. There were about 3,700 companies and organizations which were providing hospice services in the United States. About half of the hospice care providers in the United States are for-profit organizations, and about half are non-profit organizations. General Overview of the Medicare and Medicaid ProgramsIn 1965, Congress established the Medicare Program to provide health insurance for the elderly and disabled. Payments from the Medicare Program arise from the Medicare Trust fund, which is funded by government contributions and through payroll deductions from American workers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), is the federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid.In 2007, CMS reorganized its ten geography-based field offices to a Consortia structure based on the agency's key lines of business: Medicare health plans, Medicare financial management, Medicare fee for service operations, Medicaid and children's health, survey & certification and quality improvement. The CMS consortia consist of the following:The FCA anti-retaliation provision protects the hospice whistleblower from retaliation from the hospice when the employee (or a contractor) "is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment" for taking action to try to stop the fraudulent activity. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h). A hospice employee's relief includes reinstatement, 2 times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination or retaliation, including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.A SC hospice fraud FCA whistleblower would initially file a disclosure statement, complaint and supporting documents with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbia, South Carolina, and the US Attorney General. After the disclosures are filed, a federal court complaint can be filed. The SC division where the frauds occurred, the relator's residence, and the defendant residence, will determine which division the case will be assigned. There are eleven federal court divisions in South Carolina. Once the case has been filed, the government has 60 days to decide whether or not to intervene. During this time, federal government investigators located in South Carolina will investigate the claims. If the case involved Medicaid, SC Medicaid fraud unit investigators will likely become involved as well. If the government intervenes in the case, the U.S. Attorney for South Carolina is usually the lead attorney. If the government does not intervene, the relator's SC attorney will prosecute the case. In South Carolina, expect a qui tam case to take one to two years to get to trial.Tips on Recognizing Hospice Fraud SchemesThe HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued Special Fraud Alerts for fraudulent and abusive practices of hospices. U.S. and South Carolina hospices, patients, hospice employees and whistleblowers, their attorneys and lawyers, should be familiar with these hospice fraud practices. Tips on recognizing hospice frauds in South Carolina and the U.S. are:• A hospice offering free goods or goods at below market value to induce a nursing home to refer patients to the hospice. • False representations in a hospice's Medicare/Medicaid enrollment form. • A hospice paying "room and board" payments to the nursing home in amounts in excess of what the nursing home would have received directly from Medicaid had the patient not been enrolled in the hospice. • False statements in a hospice's claim form (CMS Forms 1450, UB-04 or UB-92). • A hospice falsely billing for services that were not reasonable or necessary for the palliation of the symptoms of a terminally ill patient. • A hospice paying amounts to the nursing home for "additional" services that Medicaid considered included in its room and board payment to the hospice. • A hospice paying above fair market value for "additional" non-core services which Medicaid does not consider to be included in its room and board payments to the nursing home. • A hospice referring patients to a nursing home to induce the nursing home to refer its patients to the hospice. •A hospice providing free (or below fair market value) care to nursing home patients, for whom the nursing home is receiving Medicare payment under the skilled nursing facility benefit, with the expectation that after the patient exhausts the skilled nursing facility benefit, the patient will receive hospice services from that hospice. • A hospice providing staff at its expense to the nursing home to perform duties that otherwise would be performed by the nursing home. • Incomplete or no written Plan of Care was established or reviewed at specific intervals. • Plan of Care did not include an assessment of needs. • Fraudulent statements in a hospice's cost report to the government. • Notice of Election was not obtained or was fraudulently obtained. • RN supervisory visits were not made for home health aide services. • Certification or Re-certification of terminal illness was not obtained or was fraudulently obtained. • No Plan of care was included for bereavement services. • Fraudulent billing for upcoded levels of hospice care. • Hospice did not conduct a self-assessment of quality and care provided. • Clinical records were not maintained for every patient. • Interdisciplinary group did not review and update the plan of care for each patient.Recent Hospice Fraud Enforcement CasesThe DOJ and U.S. Attorney's Offices have been active in enforcing hospice fraud cases.In 2009, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals settled an FCA lawsuit by paying $1.8 million to the federal government. The defendant allegedly failed to obtain written certifications of terminal illness for a number of its patients.In 2006, Odyssey Healthcare, a national hospice provider, paid $12.9 million to settle a qui tam suit for false claims under the FCA. The hospice fraud allegations were generally that Odyssey billed Medicare for providing hospice care to patients when they were not terminally ill and ineligible for Medicare hospice benefits. A Corporate Integrity Agreement was also a part of the settlement. The hospice fraud qui tam relator received $2.3 million for blowing the whistle on the defendant.In 2005, Faith Hospice, Inc., settled claims an FCA claim for $600,000. The hospice fraud allegations were generally that Faith Hospice billed Medicare for providing hospice care to patients more than half of whom were not terminally ill.In 2005, Home Hospice of North Texas settled an FCA claim for $500,000 regarding allegations of fraudulently billing Medicare for ineligible hospice patients.In 2000, Michigan osteopath Donald Dreyfuss, who pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges, including violation of the AKS for receiving illegal kickbacks from a hospice for recommending the hospice to the staff of his nursing home, settled an FCA suit for $2 million.ConclusionHospice fraud is a growing problem in South Carolina and throughout the United States. South Carolina hospice patients, hospice employees, and their SC lawyers and attorneys, should be familiar with the basics of the hospice care industry, hospice eligibility under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and typical hospice fraud schemes. Hospice organizations should take steps to ensure full compliance with Medicare/Medicaid hospice billing requirements to avoid hospice fraud allegations and FCA litigation.© 2010 Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.