Friday, January 24, 2014

Just Another Whistleblower Settlement in the Elder Care World -- for $30 Million?

The Justice Department has announced the settlement of a Whistleblower case, involving allegations that RehabCare Group Inc., RehabCare Group East Inc. and Rehab Systems of Missouri, plus a management company, Health Systems Inc., violated the False Claims Act by engaging in a kickback scheme related to the referral of clients between nursing homes and therapy services. 

Ho-hum.  Just another settlement.  No admissions of wrongdoing.  Promises that they won't do in the future what they say they didn't do in the past.  No reason to put another Whistleblower settlement affecting elder care services on the front page of any newspapers, or make it the lead story on the nightly news, right?

But hey, the settlement figure was $30 million dollars.  Thirty ... Million ... Dollars.  Are we so innured to Whistleblower cases in this country that an agreement to pay $30 million dollars is viewed merely as a cost of doing business?  Do we simply accept it as an extra "tax" on the price of nursing home care -- or  pharmaceutical drug sales --  or hospice care -- just to name three industries that have agreed to pay multi-millions in settlement of False Claim Act suits during the last year? 

I suppose the Treasury is modestly pleased to be recovering payments to offset Medicare or Medicaid costs that are constantly under assault by legislators professing concern about the size of the budget devoted to elder care. The Justice Department says that in the last five years, it "has recovered more than $17.1 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $12.2 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs." 

But what about the persons receiving the care?   How do these these non-admissions of fault, combined with additional costs that surely must reappear in future billings to the public, affect the elders and disabled persons depending on these companies for care? 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2014/01/just-another-whistleblower-settlement-in-the-elder-care-world-for-30-million-.html

Ethical Issues, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicare | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef019b051fc436970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Just Another Whistleblower Settlement in the Elder Care World -- for $30 Million? :

Comments

Post a comment