Recently, a whistleblower failure-of-care claim was settled against a nursing home chain for $38 million. Even nursing home abuse can be stopped with whistleblowing.
In 2010, a whistleblower came forth with information showing Extendicare Health Services Inc., a nursing home chain, was defrauding Medicare and Medicaid by charging patients for below-average care. Now, the nursing home chain will be paying $38 million to settle the failure-of-care claims – the largest amount ever seen for failure-of-care claims.
In addition to defrauding Medicare and Medicaid, this nursing home chain was also accused of failure to have enough staff to run its facilities, which number 146. Some of the nursing home chain’s misconduct involves improper medication of patients, failure to follow certain care protocols (ulcers, falls, etc.), and charging patients for unnecessary and unneeded treatment.
If it weren’t for the whistleblower, who was the director of rehabilitation for the eastern area of the nursing home chain, Extendicare’s misconduct may not have been brought to light. However, thanks to this whistleblower coming forth with the information necessary to catch and stop Extendicare, the nursing home chain will be stopped not only from defrauding Medicare and Medicaid, but also stopped from committing risky and dangerous treatment of patients in its nursing homes.
Earlier this year, Amedisys, a provider of home hospice and health care services settled a whistleblower suit with similar claims as Extendicare for $150 million. In both cases, Amedisys and Extendicare, whistleblowers came forth to expose the wrongdoings. Again, thanks to the actions of whistleblowers, money and lives will be saved.