WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Nov. 16 it had settled for $1.25 million with a group of Mississippi companies after allegations of violating the False Claims Act by providing grossly substandard care to nursing home residents at the Oxford Health and Rehabilitation nursing home in Lumberton, Mississippi, from 2005 to 2012.

“Residents of nursing homes are some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said acting assistant attorney general Chad A. Readler, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, in a statement.  “Nursing home operators who bill Medicare and Medicaid for providing their residents with grossly deficient services will be held accountable.”

The defendants are Foundation, a Georgia not-for-profit entity (Hyperion), Julie Mittleider, a resident of Georgia and Hyperion’s former president, AltaCare Corporation, a nursing home management corporation in Georgia, Douglas Mittleider, AltaCare’s chief executive officer, and related companies Long Term Care Services Inc. and Sentry Healthcare Acquirors Inc. AltaCare operated the nursing home under a contract with Hyperion.

“It’s troubling when a nursing home company and its executives accept Medicare and Medicaid money to care for vulnerable nursing home residents and provide grossly deficient care, as alleged in this case,” said special agent in charge, Derrick Jackson, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in a statement. “We will continue to hold nursing homes accountable to ensure residents receive quality health care and are provided safe living conditions.”

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