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Experts say False Claims Act can root out nursing home abuse, fraud, and neglect

Indisputable evidence continues to surface showing that many nursing home residents are neglected and abused on a daily basis. Despite establishing requirements against nursing home abuse and neglect in 1987 Congressional legislation, the abuse persists.

By law, nursing homes cannot receive funding from public health care programs like Medicare or Medicaid unless the facility cares for its residents in a manner respecting “the quality of life of each resident.” It’s obvious from the prevalence of abuse reports, nursing homes are bypassing this requirement through fraudulent means.

Some experts believe that the key to ending nursing home abuse and neglect lies in using the False Claims Act. A provision in the Act allows persons with knowledge of fraudulent claims being submitted to federal programs like Medicare or Medicaid to bring a lawsuit against the facility on behalf of the government. Another provision in the Act acts as an incentive for nursing home staff to be vigilant, allowing whistleblowers to earn between 15 and 30 percent of money recovered from a nursing home that submits fraudulent claims for inadequate care or services never rendered.

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