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Senate Panel says three largest home health companies bilked Medicare.

The nation’s three largest home-health companies bilked Medicare out of potentially millions of dollars by tailoring medical care to get the highest payments, the Senate Finance Committee said in a 664-page report released Monday.

“The home health therapy practices identified at Amedisys, LHC Group, and Gentiva at best represent abuses of the Medicare home health program,” the report concludes. “At worst, they may be examples of for-profit companies defrauding the Medicare home health program at the expense of taxpayers.”

The panel’s investigation began last year after The Wall Street Journal raised concerns about home-health payments. The new report says the home-health agencies ordered unnecessary therapy visits in order to benefit from Medicare bonuses for reaching certain thresholds.

What impact will this report, and the subsequent news coverage, have on the public’s perception of home health care?

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