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Nursing home chain to pay more than $18 million to settle billing controversy

By Marian Johns | Mar 4, 2019

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — A Tennessee nursing home chain will pay more than $18 million to resolve allegations of billing Medicare and Medicaid for substandard services and marking Tennessee's largest "worthless services" resolution in the state's history, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 27.

The settlement stems from the DOJ's allegations that Vanguard Healthcare LLC and related Vanguard companies, its majority owner, CEO and director of operations submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for "grossly substandard or worthless" services, at its five nursing facilities, the department said. 

Vanguard did not give out medications, have standard infection control, restrained residents without it being necessary and did not provide basic nutrition and hygiene needs to residents, according to the DOJ.

“Simply stated, our elderly and vulnerable citizens who can’t care for themselves deserve far better treatment than what they were subjected to by Vanguard,” added U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Don Cochran. “The substandard care that many of these facilities’ residents endured while the companies were raiding the public coffers is deplorable."

Vanguard Healthcare and some of its related companies that have reorganized due to bankruptcy will pay more than $5.1 million and two Vanguard entities that are liquidating in bankruptcy will pay $13.5 million as part of the settlement. In addition, Vanguard's majority owner and former director of operations will pay $250,000, according to the DOJ.

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