US, Virginia intervene in qui tam involving residential psychiatric/counseling center for boys

by bvernia | November 5th, 2009

On November 4, DOJ announced its intervention in a qui tam suit in the Western District of Virginia alleging Medicaid fraud on the part of owners and operators of the Keystone Marion Youth Center in Marion, Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia also joined the suit.

The relators are former therapists at the center. In their complaint, filed in 2007, the relators allege a wide variety of acts to defraud Medicaid, including billing for services which were not provided, billing for full therapy sessions while providing much shorter ones, billing for services provided by unlicensed staff, altering documents and deliberately understaffing the center. More troubling if true, the relators allege that the center’s staff intentionally provoked (“escalated”) boys so that their reaction would justify longer stays, and delayed the discharge of boys who were ready to leave. The US and Virginia have not yet filed their own complaint. The relators also allege a variety of employment causes of action, including retaliation in violation of the FCA, ยง 3730(h).

The defendants are Universal Health Services, Inc., based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and two Nashville-based companies, Keystone Marion, LLC, and Keystone Education and Youth Services, LLC.

The relators are represented by Mark Hurt, and by Copeland & Bieger’s Daniel Bieger, both of Abingdon, Virginia. AUSA Rick Mountcastle of the WDVA and DOJ attorneys Renee Brooker and Brian McCabe are representing the US. Virginia is represented by Assistant Attorney General Erica Bailey. No defense counsel have entered an appearance yet.

One Response to “US, Virginia intervene in qui tam involving residential psychiatric/counseling center for boys”

  1. I am a former employee and fully agree that UHS and Keystone
    participated in the above mentioned acts.
    Unfortunately they continue to operate the facility without change, providing retaliation if concerns are filed by employees.

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