Pennsylvania-based Genesis Healthcare Inc. has agreed to pay the federal government $53.6 million to settle six False Claims Act lawsuits that accused the company of defrauding government health care programs.
The settlement agreement, reached Friday, resolves allegations that companies and facilities acquired by Genesis submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary therapy and hospice service, as well as “grossly substandard” nursing care. The nursing home giant owns and operates nursing facilities, senior living facilities, and a rehabilitation therapy business.
Among other things, the lawsuits accused a Genesis-acquired company of knowingly submitting false Medicare claims for services performed at the Creekside Hospice facility in Las Vegas from 2010 to 2013. The lawsuits alleged that Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. and its subsidiaries billed for hospice services for patients who were not terminally ill — and thus not eligible for the Medicare hospice benefit — and billed inappropriately for certain evaluation management services.
The allegations were first raised by seven whistleblowers who are former employees of companies acquired by Genesis. The former employees filed the lawsuits under a federal law that allows private parties to sue on behalf of the government and then receive a share of recovery. They will receive a combined $9.7 million share of the recovery in this case.
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