Nurses who once worked for a home healthcare agency will share a $600,000 whistleblower reward for coming forward with evidence of Medicaid fraud by their former employer.
The nurses claimed that their former employer, Deaconess Home Health, Inc., submitted false claims to Medicaid for personal care services. Medicaid generally pays for personal care services to assist patients with daily living activities so they can continue to live at home and not be sent to an assisted living facility or nursing home.
The nurses claimed that their former employer recruited patients and personal care workers without regard to whether or not personal care services were medically necessary. The nurses also claimed that their former employer instructed nurses to create false patient assessments to support the Medicaid claims. According to the nurses, their former employer also failed to conduct supervisory visits that are required to ensure that personal care services were actually being provided, that the services were medically necessary, and that the services were appropriate for each patient’s needs.
The nurses asserted these claims in a whistleblower or qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act. This law allows individuals to start a lawsuit “under seal” (that is, in secret) on behalf of the government and share in any recovery. Once the whistleblower lawsuit is filed, the government must conduct an investigation and decide whether to pursue the lawsuit.
If the government recovers money as a result of the whistleblower lawsuit, then the whistleblowers are entitled to a reward of between 15% and 30% of the amount recovered.
In this case, the former employer agreed to settle the lawsuit for $3.7 million. The nurses will share in a $600,000.00 whistleblower reward.
If you have evidence that a healthcare provider is submitting false claims to Medicare or Medicaid, then you should consult with an experienced whistleblower lawyer immediately to protect your rights. You may be entitled to a financial reward and legal protections as a whistleblower.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728.
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