Baton Rouge-based home health company Amedisys said Tuesday it could take a loss of as much as $38.8 million to cover alleged overpayments by Medicare to the company in Florida.

The company also announced it will close four Florida home health care centers, consolidate three with centers serving the same markets and implement a restructuring plan in the home health segment. 

Amedisys is challenging the amount of the overpayments as well as the method used to extrapolate the amounts allegedly owed by Infinity Home Care of Lakeland and Infinity Home Care of Pinellas. Amedisys has filed administrative appeals of individual claims used to calculate the overpayments. In addition, Amedisys said it repaid a portion of the claims after a self-audit and does not believe those payments were reflected.

However, Amedisys said it cannot predict the outcome of the review, and the company could face a loss ranging from $6.5 million to $38.8 million. The alleged overpayments took place from 2014 to 2016. Amedisys acquired the properties on Dec. 31, 2015, and Infinity's previous owners are required by contract to cover up to $12.6 million in claims before the acquisition.

Amedisys said the loss could be less than $6.5 million if the company can demonstrate that the statistical method a contractor used to extrapolate the overpayments was incorrect.

Meanwhile, Amedisys said the Florida closures, consolidations and home health restructuring resulted in a one-time, third-quarter charge of $2 million. Amedisys expects a charge in the range of $2 million to $3 million during the fourth quarter.

However, the moves are expected to improve annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — a measure of profits — by $7 million to $9 million in 2018.

Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.