For profit national nursing home chain Life Care charged with Medicare Fraud

One if the largest for profit nursing home chains, Life Care has been charged by the Justice Department with overbilling Medicare. Life Care is being sued in Federal Court and the allegations include billing nearly 68 percent of its MEdicare rehabilitation days at the highest level, nearly twice the national average of 35 percent.

A former nurse at one of Life Care’s facilities in Tennessee originally came forward as a whistleblower to reveal the fraud to Uncle Sam including the significant pressure by the company placed on employees to render care to the elderly patients which was not medically necessary and in some cases which they could not physically tolerate.

In addition, the court documents assert that the individual therapy sessions for the patients were frequently set at the highest level or “Ultra” to increase company profits and even when the therapy wasn’t necessary.

In a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, such over-billing is industry wide and nation wide and that over 25% of all Medicare payments are made to nursing homes in error. Œ Many nursing homes are billing Medicare for services that they don’t even provide. This increases the cost of Medicare and Medicaid to the taxpayers.

If you are aware of Medicare fraud, report it. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.