After evaluating the care provided to patients at Villaspring Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a Kentucky Nursing Home, the U.S. Attorney’s Office deemed the care so inadequate that the facility should never have billed Medicare or Medicaid for such services.
Evaluating a period of care at Villaspring from 2004 through 2008, the investigation discovered that the facility regularly billed the governmental agencies for shoddy care that held little hope of providing any meaningful benefit to the patient. Patient records were examined which demonstrated that the facility:
- Failed to follow doctors orders
- Failing to treat pressure sores
- Neglecting to update patient care plans when called for
- Failing to monitor the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients
Acting on behalf of all taxpayers, the civil lawsuit seeks damages for the poor services under provisions of: False Claims Act, common law fraud and unjust enrichment.
If found guilty, the nursing home could be facing penalties that far exceed any benefits that it originally received. For each violation that the nursing home is found to be guilty under the False Claims Act, they may penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim in addition to paying treble damages if found guilty under the fraud allegations.
I hope that this False Claims Act lawsuit provide somewhat of a springboard for similar causes of action in other jurisdictions. While fraud in any healthcare setting is shameful and a waste of taxpayer funds, when the fraud is perpetrated at the expense of our elders, such behavior must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
For laws related to Kentucky nursing homes, look here.