Northern Virginia nursing home settles whistleblower suit for $700,000

by Ben Vernia | February 14th, 2013

On February 13, the Department of Justice announced that a Fairfax, Virginia nursing home agreed to pay $700,000 to settle False Claims Act allegations that were first brought by whistleblowers in a qui tam suit. According to DOJ’s press release:

Fairfax, Va.-based skilled nursing facility Fairfax Nursing Center (FNC) and its owners have agreed to pay $700,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting or causing the submission to Medicare of false claims for non-reimbursable rehabilitation therapy services, the Justice Department announced today.

The settlement resolves claims that FNC provided excessive, medically unnecessary, or otherwise non-reimbursable physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to 37 Medicare beneficiaries serviced by FNC between January 2007 and December 2010. The United States alleged that the rehabilitation therapy services provided by FNC to these beneficiaries were not reasonable and necessary for the treatment of their condition. Specifically, the United States alleged that the therapy services were often excessive, duplicative, performed without clear goals or direction, and, in some instances, performed primarily to capture higher reimbursement rates.

The government announced that the whistleblowers, two former employees and one former contractor, will receive $122,500 of the settlement (a 17.5% relator’s share).

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