United States Department of Justice issued a press release on the SavaSeniorCare False Claims Act settlement. The lawsuits allege that Sava submitted false claims for rehabilitation therapy services by engaging in a systematic effort to increase its Medicare billings.
“Too many unscrupulous nursing homes operators seek maximum profit by routinely inflating bills while providing grossly substandard care,” said Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) .
SavaSeniorCare LLC and related entities will pay $11.2 million to resolve the False Claims Act accusations. The DOJ proved Sava charged Medicare for therapy that were not reasonable, necessary or skilled. Sava also billed Medicare and Medicaid for grossly substandard skilled nursing services.
Sava is a billion dollar national chain owned and operated by Rubin Schron through a series of related entities. The Atlanta chain owns and operates more than 160 skilled nursing facilities across the country. Sava Corporate’s policies and practices exerted pressure on Administrators to meet unrealistic financial goals. Sava pressured staff to meet aggressive corporate targets to significantly increase Sava’s revenues with disregard to patients’ clinical needs. Acting U.S. Attorney Williams stated:
Nursing home residents should not be at the mercy of nursing home operators that put their own economic gain ahead of the needs of the residents, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those operators who bill Medicare and Medicaid for substandard care. This settlement holds Sava accountable, and the resulting Corporate Integrity Agreement should ensure that Sava provides seniors with quality care and treats its residents with dignity and respect.
The settlement includes Sava’s false claims for payment for grossly and materially substandard and/or worthless skilled nursing services. Sava’s failure to provide a sufficient number of staff caused the neglect and abuse. This failure of care allegedly resulted in preventable pressure ulcers, preventable falls, and preventable medication errors.
The government alleged that Sava’s nursing services failed to meet federal minimum standards of care including failing to have sufficient staffing to meet residents’ needs. The government also alleged that Sava failed to follow appropriate safety protocols for pressure injuries, falls, and medication errors. Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee stated:
When corporate greed rises to the level of defrauding federal health care programs, while subjecting one of our most vulnerable populations to grossly substandard care and unnecessary medical services, we must hold the companies accountable. Any fraud that undermines the care being provided to elderly nursing home residents cannot continue and will be exposed and rooted out. We are grateful to the courageous whistleblowers who reported this egregious conduct.
Sava entered into Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The CIA requires an independent organization to review reimbursements and the quality of resident care.
Sava did not admit to wrongdoing. They will never learn.
We believe it is the right time to put these matters behind us as we begin to recover from the pandemic,” said Annaliese Impink, spokesperson for SavaSeniorCare Administrative and Consulting, LLC.