Federal authorities have joined two nurses who have filed a qui tam action against a company that operated five nursing homes in the St. Louis area. Qui tam lawsuits, or whistleblower lawsuits, are filed on behalf of the United States government. In this case, the whistleblower nurses had knowledge that the nursing homes they worked in were defrauding the government by charging Medicare and Medicaid for services that were actually “worthless.” Cathedral Rock slashed its nursing staff to cut costs, failed to pay property taxes, failed to pay vendors, continued to employ staff who failed drug screenings, failed to properly lock up medications, and consistently neglected its residents.
The nursing homes targeted by the federal investigation are run by Cathedral Rock Corp. Cathedral Rock took over the homes in 2001 from American Healthcare Management, which had a history of providing substandard care. In this case, nine residents had to have legs or toes amputated because of a failure to prevent pressure ulcers followed by failures to prevent pressure ulcers from becoming infected.
Qui tam claims are filed under the False Claims Act. To incentivize those with knowledge of fraud against the United States, the False Claims Act rewards whistleblowers with 15-25% of the lawsuit award.
Click here for the full article Click here for a previous post on American Healthcare Management fraud Click here for a previous post on an earlier qui tam settlement against American Healthcare Management