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| THE STATE: HEALTH CARE

Apria Reports Documentation Errors

November 18, 1998|Barbara Marsh

Apria Healthcare Group Inc., under investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, said it is having trouble producing documents that justify its billing in federal health-care programs. In a report filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the home health-care giant said it discovered "errors" and "deficiencies" in supporting documents for billings to Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. As a result, the struggling Costa Mesa company could face criminal or civil penalties that might affect its bottom line, according to the report. The company said it believes that any criminal charges or civil claims would be unwarranted. The document mistakes or omissions were the result of human error, Robert Holcombe, the company's general counsel, said in a phone interview. Federal officials refused to comment on an ongoing investigation.

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