A Memphis, Tennessee nursing home has agreed to pay $500,000 to the United States and the State of Tennessee to resolve allegations of false claims to Medicare and Tenncare for services rendered to residents that were materially substandard, worthless, and were provided in violation of certain essential requirements that the United States expects nursing homes to meet. The Tennessee nursing home also entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General intended to deter future wrongful conduct.
The settlement of claims against the Tennessee nursing home resulted from a federal qui tam lawsuit filed against the Tennessee nursing home pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733. The False Claims Act lawsuit alleged that from 2012 to 2015, the Tennessee nursing home provided substandard and worthless nursing home services to its residents for which Medicare and Tenncare were not liable to pay for services deemed to be so deficient that they are essentially worthless. The case was captioned United States of America and the State of Tennessee ex rel. Chris Godwin v. Memphis Operator, LLC (d/b/a Spring Gate Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center), Vericare Management, Inc., and PharMerica Corporation, No. 2:15-cv-2090 (W.D.Tenn.).
In announcing the resolution of the claims in the qui tam lawsuit, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee stated, “Residents of nursing homes are some of our most vulnerable citizens. When nursing homes break the law by defrauding the government for substandard or worthless services we will use our resources to combat this fraud and hold them accountable.”
The Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General in Atlanta stated, “Protecting the health and safety of Medicare patients is one of our primary concerns. Nursing facilities that fail to meet minimum quality standards can expect to pay a heavy price for neglecting their residents.”
The Tennessee nursing home states in its brochure, “Many people choose our care following an illness, surgery, injury or hospital stay, and return back to the community feeling better and stronger than before! We do have others that choose to come and stay with us long term and enjoy the home-like setting we provide and the specialized services and programs to keep them living life as they desire … Whatever your needs may be, our caring staff is dedicated to your comfort, well-being and peace of mind … We provide the highest quality of life in a caring, supportive environment where seniors are given the dignity and respect they deserve.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Tennessee or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home understaffing, you should promptly contact a nursing home claim attorney in Tennessee or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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