Episcopal Ministries to the Aging Inc. to Pay $1.3 M for Allegedly Causing Submission of Claims for Unnecessary Rehabilitation Therapy at Skilled Nursing Facility

Episcopal Ministries to the Aging Inc. (EMA), a Maryland not-for-profit corporation that owns skilled nursing facilities, has agreed to pay $1.3 million to the government for submitting false claims to Medicare for unreasonable or unnecessary rehabilitation therapy purportedly provided by RehabCare Group East Inc., a subsidiary of Kindred Healthcare Inc.

“Patient need must dictate the provision of Medicare benefits rather than the fiscal interests of providers,” said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “ Today’s settlement demonstrates the department’s continued commitment to safeguarding both Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayer dollars by holding accountable all entities involved in billing for unnecessary services, including those that did not directly provide the unnecessary services.”

The settlement resolves allegations that EMA submitted false claims for rehabilitation therapy at William Hill Manor, a skilled nursing facility EMA owns in Easton, Maryland.  EMA hired RehabCare to provide rehabilitation therapy services to its patients at that facility starting in 2010.  The government alleges that EMA failed to prevent RehabCare from providing unreasonable or unnecessary therapy to patients in order to increase Medicare reimbursement to the facilities.  The government contended that among other things the reported therapy did not reflect the lower amounts of therapy generally provided to patients over the course of their stay.

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