Forbes had an article on the recent settlement between the DOJ and Defendants Life Care Centers of America, one of the nation’s largest nursing home chains, and its billionaire owner Forrest Preston. Life Care and Preston have agreed to pay $145 million to settle a government lawsuit alleging that the firm had knowingly overbilled federal healthcare programs. The settlement is the largest the Department of Justice has ever obtained from a nursing home company.
Evidence supports the allegation that Life Care systematically submitted false claims for rehabilitation therapy to Medicare and TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program, over a period of seven years. The company’s corporate policies encouraged providing unnecessary treatment and keeping patients longer than needed to pump up revenues. Preston unjustly profited from the scheme.
“Life Care has agreed to pay $45 million of the settlement amount up front and the rest over three years. It also entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Health and Human Services Department. The agreement will require annual independent review of whether the therapy services Life Care bills to Medicare are necessary and appropriate.”