Monday, August 21, 2006

Beverley settles with DOJ over fraud issues

Nursing home operator Beverly Enterprises Inc. has agreed to pay $20 million to settle allegations that it defrauded federal and California healthcare programs, the Justice Department announced Friday.

The Fort Smith, Ark.-based company, once the nation's largest nursing home chain with 60 facilities in California, was accused of submitting false reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal through a now-defunct subsidiary, MK Medical. Medicare is the federal health plan for seniors and disabled people. Medi-Cal is a federally funded, state-run health plan for the poor.

The company was never charged in court, and its attorney said Friday that the accusations stemmed from lack of proper paperwork, not fraud.

"Beverly raised the issue of proper documentation itself with the government," attorney Russell Hayman said. "It conducted an audit and has now repaid the moneys identified."

Read more in the LA Times.

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