Nursing Home Chain Settles with Feds Over Elder Abuse Charges

Fraud and Elder Abuse Charges Settled Between Nursing Home Chain and Federal Government

elder abuse chargesA nursing home chain that faced numerous federal charges for fraudulent billing, and elder abuse charges has reached a settlement with the Department of Justice for $38 million.

On Friday, October 10th, the Justice Department announced the large settlement with Extendicare Health Services Inc and its subsidiary, Progressive Step Corporation.

According to court documents, the federal government charged the nursing home chain with substandard care, elder abuse, and fraudulent billing that occurred between 2007 and 2013, in 33 nursing homes across 8 states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington. The company still operates eight facilities in Minnesota.

“Protecting this nation’s vulnerable populations, including our seniors, has been and continues to be one of this department’s highest priorities,” acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery said.

“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,” Delery told reporters.

Lapses in care at the facilities led to serious elder abuse and neglect charges, when patients reportedly suffered falls that led to head injuries and fractured bones, and several residents suffered malnutrition, dehydration, and infection from untreated bed sores.

In addition to paying $38 million to settle the financial fraud and elder abuse claims, the nursing home chain will enter a five-year compliance agreement with the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services, to retain an independent monitor and make other safety and staffing changes to prevent further elder abuse.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said “this investigation and settlement highlights the importance of leveraging the joint resources and expertise of the states and federal government. Working together allowed us to focus our efforts nationally on protecting the most vulnerable in our population who rely on quality care in our nursing homes.”

“We are pleased to finally put this matter behind us and look forward to continuing our efforts to deliver quality care and services to our patients and residents,” said Tim Lukenda, president and chief executive officer of Extendicare.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help Protect Medicare Fraud Whistleblowers at Nursing Homes Who Suspect Elder Abuse

Common whistle blower actions include:

  • Medicare fraud,
  • defense contractor fraud, and
  • other kinds of fraud against state or federal government

Nursing homes submit numerous Medicare and Medicaid claims for medications and services for their patients. However, staff and administrations who run nursing homes may not always have good intentions, which can lead to over- or under-medication, improperly administered doses, or failure to administer medication at all. This can lead to charges of elder abuse, and, if the elder abuse involves prescriptions, Medicare fraud.

If you are personally aware of a fraud that has been committed by your current or former employer, a competitor or otherwise, from tax evasion to Medicare fraud, contact the Qui Tam attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a no cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case and whether filing a qui tam may be appropriate. We understand the complexity of the False Claims Act, and can help you with your case. We offer free, confidential consultations so contact us for help today. 803.252.4800

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