Nursing Home Senior Living

Chicago Nursing Homes Settle For $10M In Medicare Fraud Suits

June 14, 2019 - 5:49 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Several Chicago nursing centers accused of Medicare fraud will pay nearly $10 million back to the U.S. government.

The now-shuttered therapy provider, Quality Therapy and Consultation Inc. of Orland Park, and its owner, Frances Parise, allegedly worked with four Chicago nursing homes and billed federal health insurers for services they never performed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement.

The nursing homes include Lakeshore Healthcare in Rogers Park, which settled for $2.7 million; Balmoral Home at 2055 W. Balmoral Ave., which settled for $1.7 million; Ridgeview Rehab, of Rogers Park, which settled for $1 million; and Carlton at the Lake, Inc., at 725 W. Montrose Ave., which settled for $3.6 million.

The companies allegedly lied about the level of care patients would need in order to maximize Medicare benefits, prosecutors said. The providers also allegedly scheduled and claimed additional therapy regardless of the patients’ needs.

The settlements closed a case that began as a federal whistleblower lawsuit in 2014, prosecutors said. The whistleblower, Katherine Verhulst, worked as an occupational therapist with Quality Therapy and Consultation, and will receive a $1.9 million cut of the recovered money, PR Newswire reported.

Parise agreed to pay $160,000 and to be excluded from participating in federal health programs for five years, prosecutors said. The settlements resolved charges that the facilities violated the False Claims Act by overbilling federal health insurers.

Carlton Skilled Nursing Facility, LLC, the new owner of the Carlton at the Lake’s building on Montrose Avenue, said in a statement that it was not a party to the settlement.

“[T]he investigation and settlement by the prior operator of our facility has no impact on our operations or the well-being of our residents,” Carlton Skilled Regional Director of Operations Etan Bleichman said in the statement.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2019. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)