Lifecare Centers of America False Claims Act case settles but amount unknown until Oct 31

Life Care Centers of America one of the nation’s largest skilled nursing providers and the controversial topic of statistical sampling will end in a settlement, according to a brief filed Thursday.

The False Claims Act lawsuit against Life Care Centers of America,  accused  the company of providing unnecessary therapy services to maximize reimbursements. The government intervened in the case in 2012, and proposed using a sample of 400 Medicare claims from Life Care Centers facilities to show that the inflated therapy claims occurred throughout the company.

Instead of a final decision the Life Care Centers case will end in a settlement, expected to be finalized by Oct. 31, 2016. The settlement will resolve the allegations against Life Care Centers and a  against CEO Forrest Preston, according to the jointly filed brief.

The only part of the settlement process left to finalize is a corporate integrity agreement between Life Care Centers and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, the brief said. Drafts of that agreement have been created; both parties anticipate the agreement can be finalized by Oct. 31.

A spokeswoman for Life Care Centers declined to comment Thursday. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the filing.

Long-term care providers bashed the use of statistical sampling in an amicus for a separate court case in March, calling it a “giant sledgehammer” and a “novel shortcut” that would force defendants to settle cases pre-trial.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers and was counsel in the United States ex rel. Janet Halpin v. RehabCare which settled this year for $125 Million.