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Apr 28, 2015 by |

Department of Justice Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Large Nursing Home Chain

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

The Department of Justice has announced that it has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest nursing home chains, HCR ManorCare. The Department of Justice alleges that HCR ManorCare, a nursing home chain based in Ohio, overbilled Medicare patients.

The whistleblower lawsuit was originally filed under the False Claims Act by an occupational therapist in 2009. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States when they have knowledge that the government is being defrauded. The Department of Justice has decided to intervene after investigation ManorCare for a number of years. Whistleblowers are entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the money recovered in cases such as this one, where the government has decided to intervene.

The lawsuit alleges that ManorCare pressured administrators of its nursing homes to meet financial targets by billing for unnecessary care. It also alleges that the nursing home chain pushed the vast majority of its patients into Medicare’s highest tier of rehabilitation services, regardless of need, in order to increase the amounts it billed. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that ManorCare put patients who should have been in hospice through unnecessary and potentially harmful rehabilitation programs in order to bill Medicare at the highest amount. In 2009, 80 percent of ManorCare’s Medicare patients were at the top reimbursement rate, according to the lawsuit.

HCR ManorCare, which denies any wrongdoing, operates 281 nursing home, assisted living, and rehabilitation facilities in 30 states. The lawsuit did not specify the amount by which it believes Medicare was defrauded, but records show that ManorCare billed $6 billion to Medicare from January 2006 to May 2012.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles both nursing home and elder abuse cases, as well as whistleblower/False Claims Act claims. If you have a potential whistleblower/qui tam (False Claims) lawsuit, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at info@evanslaw.com.

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