Fairfax Nursing Center (FNC), a Virginia-based skilled nursing facility, and its owners have agreed to pay $700,000 to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act.
The settlement resolves claims that FNC provided excessive and medically unnecessary care services to 37 Medicare beneficiaries between January 2007 and December 2010.
Therapy services provided to these individuals were not reasonable nor were they necessary for the treatment of their conditions, according to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), who believed FNC carried out such procedures to capture higher reimbursement rates from Medicare.
The allegations arose from a lawsuit filed by three former FNC employees who claimed to have witnessed the company threaten to fire its employees if they discussed discharge options with patients, according to the Fairfax City Patch.
The three employees, two former FNC therapists and one former contract therapist, will receive collectively $122,500 of the settlement funds.
“Today’s settlement is another example of the Department’s efforts to hold skilled nursing facilities accountable for the rehabilitation therapy services they deliver to some of the most vulnerable in our society,” said Stuart F. Delery, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of DOJ.
This resolution of the case brought against FNC is part of the government’s directive of combatting health care fraud. The case is also another initiative by the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), created in May 2009 by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Written by Jason Oliva