The complaint alleges that the truth began to come to light on May 12, 2010, when LHC announced that the Company received a letter from the Senate Finance Committee asking LHC to respond to questions regarding therapy utilization in prior years. It is alleged that this partial disclosure caused LHC’s stock price to sharply decline, removing some of the stock inflation. Then, following the Company’s July 13, 2010 announcement that it had received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission to preserve all documents relating to LHC’s Medicare reimbursement practices, the Company’s stock fell further on heavy trading volume. The complaint alleges that this decrease in the price of LHC’s stock was a result of some of the artificial inflation caused by defendants’ misleading statements coming out of the price.As noted in the June 13 complaint, this federal suit is the latest in a string of problems the company has faced over its billing practices. The settlement with the feds, over a civil inquiry involving Medicare reimbursement for home health services from 2006 to 2008, cost the company $65 million.
On October 3, 2011, the Senate Committee released a report on its investigation that found that LHC and two other home health care companies engaged in practices that “at best represent abuses of the Medicare home program” and “[a]t worst, they may be examples of for-profit companies defrauding the Medicare home health program at the expense of taxpayers.” That day, the price of LHC shares fell $1.42 per share, or 8.3%, to close at $15.64. Finally, on October 26, 2011, LHC disclosed that the Company was lowering its earnings forecast, in part because of a payment to the federal government to settle an inquiry into whether LHC improperly billed for home health services that were medically unnecessary. On this news, LHC’s stock price fell an additional 15% in a single trading session.
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