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Iowa nursing center to pay $500K got filing false claims

This news story was published on June 24, 2014.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – Blackhawk Lifecare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Lake View, Iowa, has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve civil allegations that the facility, which utilized a third party therapy services provider, submitted or caused to be submitted improper therapy services claims for payment to the government. The government did not allege that Blackhawk’s care resulted in patient harm or jeopardy to patients’ conditions. As part of the settlement, Blackhawk did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing.

Specifically, the government alleged that, between January 2007 and December 2009, Blackhawk submitted claims to the Medicare system for therapy services that were not justified by its residents’ conditions. The government further alleged that, by including costs for the therapy services in cost reports submitted to the Medicaid program, Blackhawk erroneously submitted inflated cost reports.

“This agreement signifies the importance our office places on ensuring a fair marketplace for all participants in federal programs and that all participants abide by all applicable rules and regulations,” said Kevin W. Techau, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. “We appreciate Blackhawk’s full cooperation throughout the investigation and its willingness to resolve the allegations without the public expenditure of costly resources to litigate the claims.”

The allegations resolved by the settlement arose from an investigation led by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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