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updated: 1/27/2014 7:51 PM

Owner of Lisle hospice charged with health care fraud

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The owner of a Lisle-based hospice company is facing federal health care fraud charges.

Prosecutors said Seth Gillman, 46, of Lincolnwood, obtained higher Medicare and Medicaid payments by fraudulently elevating the level of hospice care for patients.

Gillman is the administrator and one-quarter owner of Passages Hospice LLC, according to prosecutors. The charges allege that between 2008 and 2012 Gillman orchestrated a scheme to maximize government reimbursements by placing some patients unnecessarily in "general inpatient care." That designation pays at a higher rate. Many of the patients were charged for hospice care for much longer than the required life expectancy of six months or less, prosecutors said.

Gillman also had ties to the nursing home chain Asta Healthcare Co. Inc. and used those connections to direct Passages workers to Asta facilities, prosecutors said. Asta operates facilities throughout the state, including Elgin.

Between 2006 through late 2011, records show Passages submitted claims for Medicare and Medicaid for 4,769 patients and was paid about $95 million in Medicare reimbursements and $30 million from Medicaid, according to court records.

Gillman is also accused of awarding bonuses to regional directors of the hospice company and himself based on patients being designated as in need of inpatient care.

If convicted, Gillman faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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