This week, our most read stories revolved around a record-high False Claims Act settlement for a Tennessee-based skilled nursing provider; newly launched digital shadow boxes for memory care communities; and a new entrant into the senior housing lending business. Here in the newsroom, we enjoyed listening to a 92-year-old comedian do a stand-up routine at a South Carolina senior living community.
SNF Provider to Pay Record $145 Million False Claims Settlement—Cleveland, Tennessee-based Life Care Centers of America, Inc. has agreed to pay a record-high settlement to the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the False Claims Act. The skilled nursing provider owns and operates more than 220 skilled nursing facilities nationwide. The $145 million settlement resolves claims that the provider made a systematic effort to increase its TRICARE and Medicare billings by submitting false claims for rehabilitation therapy between Jan. 1, 2006, and Feb. 1, 2013.
Memory Care Goes Digital With Design Innovation—Shadow boxes in memory care have been given an innovative upgrade by a prominent senior living interior design firm, studioSIX5. The firm’s digital memory box—the first of its kind, according to studioSIX5—features a touch-screen panel, as well as a frame around the panel that includes space for residents’ room numbers. It is customizable to fit any senior living community’s aesthetic. “It’s wireless, connected to the cloud and controlled by the caregiver, who can upload one image to the box or create a collage of multiple photos to upload,” studioSIX5 President Dean Maddalena told SHN.
SunTrust Enters Senior Housing Lending Business—SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of the operating subsidiaries of Pillar Financial, LLC, a direct lender for health care and multifamily properties and one of the select few independent Agency lenders that holds licenses with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration. In the transaction, Atlanta-based SunTrust is set to acquire Pillar’s multifamily lending business, which includes senior housing, health care properties, multi-family affordable housing and manufactured housing specialty teams.
92-Year-Old Comedian Rocks Crowd in Mount Pleasant—There’s a new stand-up comedian in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: 92-year-old Jack Bunzel. “I never know how a show goes because I never hear it,” Bunzel said during a recent stand-up performance at Somerby Assisted Living in Mount Pleasant, The Post and Courier reported.
How Your Doctor’s Politics Affects Your Health Care—And What You Can Do About It—A new study by Yale University researchers found doctors’ political leanings impact the advice they give to patients when it comes to abortion, marijuana and guns, Forbes reported. Though doctors’ political opinions can affect how they talk to patients at times, both patients and doctors can take practical steps to minimize this problem, the article says.
Written by Mary Kate Nelson