Sarasota, FL-based Doctor’s Choice Home Care and its former owners, Timothy Beach and Stuart Christensen, have agreed to pay $5.15 million to resolve allegations of improper financial inducements, the Department of Justice announced Friday. The firm allegedly referred physicians through sham medical agreements and bonuses to physicians’ spouses who were Doctor’s Choice employees. 

Doctor’s Choice also will pay an additional $675,000 to resolve separate allegations that clinical personnel were pressured by Doctor’s Choice employees to raise the number of Medicare home visits to increase federal payments to the firm.  

“Improper inducements have no place in our federal healthcare system, which relies on healthcare providers making decisions based on the healthcare needs of their patients rather than their personal financial interests,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division said.

“This settlement highlights the FBI’s commitment to protect the integrity of the federally funded healthcare system,” Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division Michael McPherson added.