Extendicare Settles Nursing Home Negligence and Fraud Claims

Extendicare Nursing Home Chain Pays $38 Million to Settle Nursing Home Negligence and Fraud Claims

Nursing Home Negligence and FraudOne of the United States’s largest nursing home chains, Extendicare, has agreed to resolve federal claims of nursing home negligence and fraud claims for $38 million, according to the Justice Department.

“Our seniors rely on the Medicare and Medicaid programs to provide them with quality care, ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect when they are most vulnerable,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.  “It is critically important that we confront nursing home operators who put their own economic gain ahead of the needs of their residents.  Operators who bill Medicare and Medicaid while failing to provide essential services or bill for services so grossly substandard as to be effectively worthless will be pursued for false claims.”

Extendicare runs 146 nursing homes in 11 states, and is the largest nursing home negligence and fraud lawsuit in the Department of Justice’s history. According to federal prosecutors, the nursing home company failed to hire adequate nursing staff for at least 33 of their homes, leading to “pervasive” problems including inappropriately billed physical therapy, and billed services that were never provided. Understaffing problems also led to serious injuries to residents, because they were unsupervised, which led to falls and bed sores. The fraudulent billing occurred between 2007 and 2013.

“These problems stemmed in large part from Extendicare’s business model — a model that was driven more by profit and less by the quality of care it provided,” Joyce R. Branda, an acting assistant attorney general, said Friday.

Officials said that the care was so inadequate in some of the Extendicare nursing homes that several residents were hospitalized for malnutrition or dehydration as a result of the nursing home negligence.

About $10 million of the settlement went to a whistleblower in Pennsylvania who filed a Medicare fraud lawsuit against Extendicare.

“One of the things that this case demonstrates is the power of the False Claims Act to act as a tool not just for protection of the funds of taxpayers and ensuring they are put to appropriate use,” Delery said. “It is also a powerful tool for protecting health and safety.”

Part of the settlement includes Extendicare agreeing to enter a 5-year corporate integrity agreement in which independent monitors will assess staffing levels and other measures to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, and improve quality of care.

“Nursing home residents should not be subject to unreasonable or unnecessary rehabilitation therapy that is dictated by a company’s profits rather than patient needs,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“This case demonstrates that the government will aggressively pursue allegations of abuse and grossly deficient care,” said Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “Our five-year corporate integrity agreement with Extendicare requires a government-selected quality of care monitor be retained by Extendicare, and additional rigorous provisions designed to ensure Extendicare provides appropriate staffing and monitors the quality of care provided to its residents.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help Protect Families Who Suspect South Carolina Nursing Home Negligence and Fraud, Or Elder Abuse

Staff, and the administration, who run a South Carolina nursing home may have good intentions, but South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect can and does occur. Whether the result of over- or under-medication, improperly administered medication, lack of training, or an understaffed facility, your loved one has the right to be safe. We offer free, confidential consultations so contact us for help today. 803.252.4800

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