Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Nursing Home Alleges Fraud, Substandard Care

By: Allan M. Siegel

The federal government recently filed charges against a nursing home operator, alleging it pocketed millions of dollars in profits while providing grossly substandard care to its elderly patients. The whistleblower lawsuit also claims that the nursing home facilities forged physician and nurse signatures in order to admit patients and charge the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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The complaint, which was filed in federal court in Tennessee, alleges an array of fraudulent and negligent conduct that harmed elderly nursing home patients, including:

  • Chronic staffing shortages;
  • Medical supply shortages;
  • Failure to control infections;
  • Failure to manage patient pain;
  • Using unnecessary physical restraints on elderly patients;
  • Failure to provide medication as directed by physicians;
  • Failure to provide wound care; and
  • Providing unnecessary and excessive psychotropic drugs.

Since 2009, the federal government has indicated that rooting out fraud in the health care sector is an enforcement priority. The feds created the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) with the express policy purpose of combatting financial crimes committed against Medicare and Medicaid.

The Tennessee nursing home whistleblower lawsuit names six facilities and also personally names Vanguard’s former Director of Operations, Mark Miller. According to the complaint, the defendants provided grossly substandard patient care that caused physical and emotional damages to vulnerable, low-income, and disabled nursing home patients. Government healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay nursing home operators for care provided to elderly patients. In return for compensation, the nursing home operators are required to pass inspections and provide a requisite level of care.

Employees who work for nursing home operators that defraud Medicare and Medicaid or provide grossly substandard care to patients can file a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The whistleblower may be eligible to share in 15 to 25 percent of a financial recovery.

In addition to whistleblower claims, elderly patients who have suffered severe injuries as a result of a elder care abuse and neglect have the right to file civil lawsuits against the owners and operators of nursing homes. If you or a loved one suffered serious long-lasting injuries due to careless medical care at a nursing home, please call the experienced and aggressive team of attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel. Because strict time deadlines apply to filing a claim, we recommend contacting us at you earliest convenience for a free, prompt, and confidential consultation with an attorney.