July 19, 2018

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Nursing Orgs. Settle Medicare Reimbursement Suit For $10M

By Matthew Guarnaccia

A pair of consulting firms and nine affiliated skilled nursing facilities operating in Florida and Alabama agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations by the U.S. government that the companies submitted false claims to Medicare after providing patients with medically unnecessary therapy services, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday.

The government struck a deal with the nursing facilities, Southern SNF Management Inc., and Rehab Services in Motion, ending a whistleblower lawsuit originally brought by three current and former employees. The government claimed SNF, Rehab Services in Motion and the facilities ignored patients actual medical needs and instead provided services that would require Medicare to reimburse them at higher rates.

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Counsel for the whistleblowers, Jeanne Markey of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, told Law360 that the government did a "dynamite job" in achieving the settlement and commended the whistleblowers for their integrity throughout the case.

"I admire their courage and I think this is a demonstration of the fact there is strength in numbers," Markey said. "They were a wonderful team."

The whistleblowers are represented by Jeanne Markey, Gary Azorsky, Raymond Sarola and Casey Preston of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Sarah Hubbard of the Hubbard Law Firm.

The complete Law360 article can be accessed here.