Life Care probed for Medicare fraud

Federal prosecutors allege that Cleveland, Tenn.-based Life Care Centers of America has bilked the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars through a systematic Medicare fraud scheme since at least 2006. Read more
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Mad

Morristown, TN

#22 Jan 28, 2013
How can these people lay down at night and sleep, how can they live with themselves. They all need to go to jail. I think all the therapist should get together and report it to the people who are now investigating it. There are laws to protect them. The whistle blower or qui tam laws would prevent and retaliation if the therapist were to report it. If you worry about it just type it in and look it up, all the laws on your side.
Shhhhhh

Morristown, TN

#23 Jan 31, 2013
Really? You people make me sick. Has anyone stopped to think of the elderly in the nursing home? Wait, no you have not because you are too busy blaming Life Care. The residents that are in Life Care facilities are taken care of. They are there for a reason. It may be for therapy or truley long term, and if it is long term I would like to know that my mother was not laying in bed wasting away. I would be glad to know that there was a therapy dept. that was working with my mother so she could have some quality of life. Just because they cant perform like they use to and they have dementia so bad that they dont know anyone, does not mean they dont deserve the care that someone would get if thet did not have dementia and were there for short term. If these so called therapists who complain about giving therapy services, then you know what, this is a great big world go find somewhere else to work. Someone else would like to have your job and give the pts. what they deserve
Private Pay

Morristown, TN

#24 Jan 31, 2013
Shhhhhh wrote:
Really? You people make me sick. Has anyone stopped to think of the elderly in the nursing home? Wait, no you have not because you are too busy blaming Life Care. The residents that are in Life Care facilities are taken care of. They are there for a reason. It may be for therapy or truley long term, and if it is long term I would like to know that my mother was not laying in bed wasting away. I would be glad to know that there was a therapy dept. that was working with my mother so she could have some quality of life. Just because they cant perform like they use to and they have dementia so bad that they dont know anyone, does not mean they dont deserve the care that someone would get if thet did not have dementia and were there for short term. If these so called therapists who complain about giving therapy services, then you know what, this is a great big world go find somewhere else to work. Someone else would like to have your job and give the pts. what they deserve
If therapy is being paid for by Tn Care or Medicare there are strict regulations and guidelines the therapist must go by. the resident must be able to show some form of improvement, they must be able to comprehend and follow instuctions. They must set goals and show goals are being reached to continue.there must be a notable improvement. What you are talking about patients in bed wasting away, unable to comprehend, and giving these type people some quality of life is a good thing but its called activites dept, vollunteers, passive ROM by qualified staff, keeping comfortable and pain free. It is not skilled therapy at massive amounts of money which is suppose to be paid to get the patient back on their feet, make them ambulatory again, set goals to increasr their indepedance. the therapist have not complained about the work they do or the patient care. They took an otah, they have integrity and morals and are being ask or rather being made to break the law and commit fraud. they are being forced to throw their morals and integrity to the dogs. If we want our Moms, your Mom, my Mom, any Moms who don't meet the qualifications and isn't therapy material to have extensive therapy as we're talking about then we must do a little thing called private pay. The insurances go by the same guidelines and rules so they would be turned down so that would only leave cash payment. That would be great if there could actually be a benefit for the patient, you could see an inprovement but with someone dying, someone who doesn't comprenend and lays there wasting away it would be really hard to know if you were helping or harming that patient. If you read the actual government complaint there are cases where it actuall hastened the patients death and caused pain and suffering. Please read this if you haven't.
ah hell

Morristown, TN

#25 Jan 31, 2013
All medical facilities are corrupt and fraudulent...
Danny

Morristown, TN

#28 Feb 12, 2013
Ben Eisler wrote:
If you used to work at life care please send me an email: EislerB@cbsnews.com. I'm a journalist with CBS News. Thanks.
<quoted text>
Impressive. Thank you for your interest.
location

Morristown, TN

#29 Feb 12, 2013
Ben Eisler wrote:
If you used to work at life care please send me an email: EislerB@cbsnews.com. I'm a journalist with CBS News. Thanks.
<quoted text>
If you want her try the Chattanooga Forum.
SNFRTC

Amesbury, MA

#30 Apr 2, 2013
Therapists must be allowed to exercise their clinical judgement when it comes to treating the elderly patients in the nursing home. These large for profit companies do not let the therapists make clinical judgements- the companies dictate how many minutes a day a patient is treated, how long the patient is treated and by which therapies. These edicts are not based upon what a patient requires but how much money the company can make off that patient.
Unfortunately, I've had to tell patients and families that I can't continue to treat them more for more time than they are scheduled for. Not because I don't have the time, or not because the patient doesn't need it- its because the company limits the time I'm allowed to treat. Why? Because if I treat 10. 15, 30 minutes one day over what was assigned then the company doesn't make as much money. They don't lose money they just don't make the full amount.
It's gotten so bad in skilled nursing facilities I've been told by corporate to tell patient's and families that Medicare limits their therapy time. That is NOT TRUE. What's limited is the companies profit margin.
Therapists are told to meet the companies requirements and have frequently faced disciplinary action and firing if they haven't. This maddness needs to end.
wondering

Morristown, TN

#31 Apr 7, 2013
Who ruined Cleveland?
by Pete Edwards
On the home page of this publication is a December 23rd Chattanooga Times Free Press report titled “Feds: Life Care plan started at top”, which contains a synopsis of federal fraud charges bought against Cleveland based Life Care Centers of America. Among the charges are that Life Care engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud Medicare and tried to cover up wrongdoing by punishing employees who complained of the possible illegal practices. The cost of Medicare is being blamed for a large part of the US budget deficit and lawmakers are demanding Medicare fraud be stopped, but it seems in this case the federal prosecution team which includes Elizabeth Tonkin, who works in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee in the Knoxville office, is being less than enthusiastic in the prosecution process. Her team unnecessarily sealed the case from public scrutiny causing criticism from a federal judge. It seems to be an example of federal prosecutors themselves attempting to cover up a Medicare fraud case they were investigating.
The case was sealed by prosecutors since 2008, and was only opened after a request from the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
After the request a federal judge issued a scathing opinion in which he put federal prosecutors “on notice” for keeping a Medicare fraud case under seal for four years. The opinion and documents in the long-running case were unsealed by U.S. District Judge Harry S.“Sandy” Mattice. The entire lawsuit was kept under seal from the time of the filings under seemingly false pretext, according to Mattice’s opinion. Whistle-blower lawsuits are allowed to stay under seal for 60 days while prosecutors evaluate the case and determine whether the U.S. Department of Justice will get involved. Keeping the cases sealed is supposed to “prevent alleged wrongdoers from being tipped off that they were under investigation,” Mattice wrote. But the prosecutors admitted they had begun settlement negotiations with Life Care in June 2010. The company’s top officials were fully aware that they were being investigated.“The length of time this case has remained under seal borders on the absurd,” Mattice wrote.
wondering

Morristown, TN

#32 Apr 7, 2013
Life Care Centers of America is reported to be the 181st largest privately owned company in the US and operates more than 260 assisted and independent living facilities, retirement centers and nursing facilities in 28 states. Life Care also provides home care agency services. The company generates $2.69 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 38,000 people.

Most of our Cleveland readers will know that Life Care is owned by local businessman, Forrest Preston, a prominent and influential member of Cleveland’s elite, and most of them will not be surprised by the charges or the way Preston, through his company managers, are alleged to have treated employees. Using a threat of being fired as a way to intimidate honest employees seems to be a stock-in-trade tool to cover up shady dealings by Cleveland’s prominent business leaders. The fact that this town could be described as the epicenter of the Bible Belt does not seem to stifle the scandal its leaders create. If the charges are proven, Preston will join a growing list of corrupt or otherwise tainted leaders to have focused disgrace upon an otherwise upstanding community.

It seems to be no coincidence that the people tarnishing Cleveland’s good name tend to be part of the same powerful group that run, and benefit from, Cleveland’s small town image and lifetime Bradley County born residents. It also seems no coincidence that the so-called “good ol’ boys” are powerful in the Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce and its partner, Cleveland Associated Industries. Two entities that I believe work contrary to the interests of ordinary citizens but prosper by getting nothing but praise from local press and covering up misdeeds. It is interesting that while intimidation by this group can easily be used to cover up wrongdoing in Cleveland, they don’t find other communities such easy prey. In the case of the accusations against Life Care Centers of America, and its owner Forrest Preston, the scheme to overcharge Medicare was disclosed in 2008 by two whistle-blower employees from Life Care facilities in Morristown, Tennessee, and Lauderhill, Florida.
wondering

Morristown, TN

#33 Apr 7, 2013
Sometimes in cover-up cases such as this, as word leaks out, more and more victims are emboldened to come forward to help prosecutors cement their case. The Bernie Madoff investment fraud case cascaded into personal wrongdoing that cost an otherwise untouchable and influential participant many years in the penitentiary. In the Life Care case of alleged Medicare fraud it is worrying that prosecutors seem to be helping Life Care avoid responsibility by artificially keeping charges hidden from the press, something wrongdoers from Cleveland have attempted to do in the past. And, the fact that the federal government is lending itself to be part of a cover-up protecting Medicare fraud and abandoning its responsibility to the elderly that were possibly harmed by its practices, calls into question the integrity of the prosecutors involved.

There is no guarantee that this time Preston, even with an estimated personal fortune of $600 million, will have enough money or influence to prevail against determined federal prosecutors armed with eyewitness accounts and a watchful public. Either way, his reputation and that of his home town will be forever tarnished.

That’s what I think. What do you think?
wondering

Morristown, TN

#34 Apr 7, 2013
SNFRTC wrote:
Therapists must be allowed to exercise their clinical judgement when it comes to treating the elderly patients in the nursing home. These large for profit companies do not let the therapists make clinical judgements- the companies dictate how many minutes a day a patient is treated, how long the patient is treated and by which therapies. These edicts are not based upon what a patient requires but how much money the company can make off that patient.
Unfortunately, I've had to tell patients and families that I can't continue to treat them more for more time than they are scheduled for. Not because I don't have the time, or not because the patient doesn't need it- its because the company limits the time I'm allowed to treat. Why? Because if I treat 10. 15, 30 minutes one day over what was assigned then the company doesn't make as much money. They don't lose money they just don't make the full amount.
It's gotten so bad in skilled nursing facilities I've been told by corporate to tell patient's and families that Medicare limits their therapy time. That is NOT TRUE. What's limited is the companies profit margin.
Therapists are told to meet the companies requirements and have frequently faced disciplinary action and firing if they haven't. This maddness needs to end.
I think it should be reported as all this other is being reported. It should stop and if enough people do the right thing it will stop. Our elderly and sick should not lose their SS and Medical Coverage over abuse and greed of a big firm. A private for proffit corporation. Where enough is never enough. They have hidden behind the bible, prayer and people's good faith too long. I do not think fines are enough I strongly think jail time is needed.
Right of Center

Sikeston, MO

#36 Apr 20, 2013
Mixing corp business with government money is a formula for just what is happening with Life Care. And if people want to believe this specific situation isn't happening in other nursing homes that is wrong thinking. It has. It does. It will. Taking care of the elderly or anyone in a compromised state will always attract a breed of evil like no other. If families choose not to provide the care themselves to their own flesh and blood and choose to leave them in places where one sfaff person to 15 people is standard and accepted....then there will always be issues. Preston is no saint...and neither are the other bilions in health care perporting to be champions and advocates of the human misery of dying and illness. Remember...a private company is just that...private...but when they decide to crawl in bed with Uncle Sam...well incest will ensue...and the baby born of incest has the mark of evil on it from the start.
Enough

Benton, TN

#37 Apr 27, 2013
SNFRTC wrote:
Therapists must be allowed to exercise their clinical judgement when it comes to treating the elderly patients in the nursing home. These large for profit companies do not let the therapists make clinical judgements- the companies dictate how many minutes a day a patient is treated, how long the patient is treated and by which therapies. These edicts are not based upon what a patient requires but how much money the company can make off that patient.
Unfortunately, I've had to tell patients and families that I can't continue to treat them more for more time than they are scheduled for. Not because I don't have the time, or not because the patient doesn't need it- its because the company limits the time I'm allowed to treat. Why? Because if I treat 10. 15, 30 minutes one day over what was assigned then the company doesn't make as much money. They don't lose money they just don't make the full amount.
It's gotten so bad in skilled nursing facilities I've been told by corporate to tell patient's and families that Medicare limits their therapy time. That is NOT TRUE. What's limited is the companies profit margin.
Therapists are told to meet the companies requirements and have frequently faced disciplinary action and firing if they haven't. This maddness needs to end.
Appears to me that Therapist are also held to some professional standards. They want to put the blame on Life Care, but if they felt what they were doing was so unethical, why did they not report their concerns to the state, or under the company's code of conduct or just find another job. Therapist jobs are a dime a dozen. It amazes me that everyone is so quick to point the finger at Life Care, when the pending cases in which the Government joined are based on therapist who just want to "cash in" themselves. Life Care is no different than any other corporation that is managing their profit margin or the greedy folks who file these senseless lawsuits against Life Care. Especially, the families that did not even take the time to visit or assist in the care of the family member they placed in the care of the nursing home. I cared for my Father at home and he still developed bed sores and had falls. It can be difficult to care for the elderly who still want to maintain their dignity and have rights regarding the care they receive. Everyone is so quick to bash the caregivers, but many of these hardworking folks truly love and care for the residents they serve
Therapist

Independence, MO

#38 May 8, 2013
The company will blame shift and sell out any and all therapists, many of us are losing our jobs with the company because they are afraid we will talk. Since this story broke they restructured the management expectations in order to be able to implicate them and the pressue just continued to be piled on. Of course, all by phone so there would be no written email or evidence. They don't even reimburse you for your cell phone use. It's just "expected" that you will take a work call at your own expense. They are greedy, arrogant, and have not done anything to better the company for the work environment for the patients or the employees.
The same people indicted are still sitting in the Corporate office like no big deal. They have no concern about the patients in many facilities much less employees. Good Luck to everyone involved.
Anne

Denver, CO

#39 May 8, 2013
Life Care Center of America is not reflective of the many skilled nursing facilites who provide only reasonable and necessary therapy services as mandated by Medicare. Please trust that there are not only ethical companies but ethical therapists who have their patients best interests at heart and provide the therapy required to move them toward greater mobility and greater independence.
All about THE money

Duluth, GA

#40 May 9, 2013
Does this involve Jefferson City? If not it should it sounds like no matter your diagnosis you Will get therapy. I wouldn't think it''s only Physical therapy but Speech and Occupational . When insurance denies payment the patients family left to pay it back. Even if family questions WHY all this therapist.
care taker

United States

#41 May 9, 2013
Obama suz

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