WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The government recently intervened in three False Claims Acts lawsuits and filed a consolidated complaint against SavaSeniorCare LLC and related entities (Sava).

The lawsuits claim that Sava knowingly and repetitively submitted false claims to Medicare for unreasonable rehabilitation therapy services. Sava, one of the nation’s main health care providers, operates about 200 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in 23 states.

"The provision of Medicare benefits must be dictated by patient need, not by Medicare providers' efforts to maximize profits by pressuring their employees to provide medically unnecessary services," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department's Civil Division said. "The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively pursue that companies seek to engage in this kind of fraudulent scheme."

The government alleges that Sava pressured its SNFs to meet financial goals that were unrealistic. This then allegedly resulted in poor service for Medicare patients.

The lawsuits were filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. This portion of the act lets private parties sue on behalf of the government. The Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee are handling the suits.

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