December 15, 2017
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While we would like to think that health care corporations would at all times act in their patients’ best interests, the reality is that all too often their business practices favor their profits over the safety, care, and well being of their patients.

Just last week, Bethany Lutheran Home, Inc., a nursing home business, filed suit against RehabCare Group, Inc. and Kindred Healthcare, Inc. in Iowa’s Southern District Federal Court. The suit stems from allegations of negligence and breach of contract relating to a Medicare fraud investigation that uncovered over-billings by the facility to Medicare in excess of $3 million.

Bethany had hired RehabCare Group to handle residents’ physical, occupational and speech therapy needs and increase their profits. The home’s billings to Medicare for those services shot up substantially and their annual profit showed a 377 percent increase. The sudden increase sparked the federal fraud investigation into the Medicare billings.

A recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that fraudulent billing practices by hospitals and physicians appears to be on the rise.  This misconduct is not only having a detrimental effect upon health care in general, but it is also having a devastating effect on the economy with fraud accounting for billions of dollars of improper payments, largely taken from Medicare.

Kindred describes itself as the nation’s largest provider of contracted therapy and post-acute care services, serving almost 2,000 nursing homes and other health care providers throughout the US. In Indiana alone, Kindred has over 20 facilities ranging from hospitals to nursing centers and assisted living homes throughout the state.

If you suspect fraud associated with your Medicare bills, you can report fraud by calling the Inspector General’s fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

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