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Amedisys will pay $43.8 million to settle shareholder class-action lawsuit

Home health giant Amedisys announced Friday that it has agreed to pay $43.8 million to settle a shareholder class-action securities lawsuit brought in 2010.

The settlement, of which Amedisys' insurance carriers will pay $15 million, is the final chapter of a seven-year legal battle that also saw Amedisys pay $150 million in 2014 to the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly inflating Medicare home care visits.

The shareholders said in the class-action that their investment in the Baton Rouge-based company had been damaged by the Medicare fraud scheme.

In a regulatory filing Friday, Amedisys said it expects to record a pre-tax charge to net income of about $28.8 million in the second quarter because of the settlement.

"The company is settling the case to eliminate uncertainties, risk, distraction and expense associated with this protracted litigation, and neither the company nor any individual defendant concedes or admits liability," Amedisys noted in its filing.

The company will pay the settlement from internal cash with payment expected in the third quarter.

Amedisys said in a statement that it looked forward to the settlement "so we can continue to focus on providing the highest quality of care to our patients, their families and the communities we serve."

Amedisys is one of the nation's largest home health chains. It posted net income of $37.3 million in 2016 on revenue of $1.44 billion.

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Dave Barkholz is Modern Healthcare’s Southern Bureau Chief stationed in Nashville. He covers hospitals, doctors, suppliers and governance across the Southeast. A winner of numerous national journalism awards, Barkholz started his career at Modern Healthcare in 1984 covering the investor-owned hospital companies. He spent the past 10 years in Detroit at Automotive News, a sister Crain publication.

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http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170616/NEWS/170619897