The Ensign Group, a California-based nursing home operator agreed to settle two whistleblower lawsuits with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for $48 million.
The whistleblower lawsuits, filed by Ensign therapists pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claim Act, accused Ensign Group and its operating subsidiaries of misrepresenting bills to Medicare from 1999 to 2011 for services that were either never performed or unnecessary.
The six Ensign Group operating subsidiaries involved in the alleged fraud and settlement are: (1) Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Associates, Inc.
d/b/a Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Center of Long Beach, California; (2) Ensign Panorama LLC d/b/a Panorama Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation of Panorama City, California; (3) Ensign Whittier West LLC d/b/a/ The Orchard Post Acute Center of Whittier, California; (4) HB Healthcare Associates LLC d/b/a Sea Cliff Healthcare Center of Huntington Beach, California; (5) Southland Management LLC d/b/a Southland Care Center of Norwalk, California; and (6) Victoria Ventura Healthcare LLC d/b/a Victoria Care Center of Ventura, California.
The settlement is “one of the largest of its kind in United States history,” involving “a company that regularly bilked Medicare by submitting inflated bills,” stated United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.