ODYSSEY HEALTHCARE: A DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION RELATED TO THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT

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ODYSSEY HEALTHCARE: A DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION RELATED TO THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT Powered By Docstoc
					ODYSSEY HEALTHCAR
				
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Description: Richard Burnham had major legal and public relations issues on his hands. He had stepped down as CEO of his for-profit hospice firm, Odyssey Healthcare, less than a year previously, in January of 2004. His cofounder, David Gasmire, had assumed his responsibilities, while he stayed on as Chairman of Odyssey's Board of Directors. Now, less than a year later, a Department of Justice investigation was threatening the viability of his company. In October of 2004, Odyssey Healthcare senior management informed investors and analysts that the firm was under investigation by the Department of Justice for violations of the False Claims Act, with respect to the company's practices for patient admissions, patient retention and billing practices. Immediate action was required. The first thing Burnham needed to do was find out what had given rise to the DOJ investigation. Even if some "rogue" employees had disregarded the firm's Code of Ethics and engaged in illegal activities, could his firm really be held responsible for these actions? Going forward, what steps should the company take to create a more ethical corporate culture and maintain more compliant operations in order to avoid future investigations from the Department of Justice? [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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