Extendicare to pay $10 million in Medicare billing settlement

Milwaukee-based national nursing home company Extendicare Health Services Inc. will pay out $10 million in a settlement to resolve allegations that it provided unnecessary services to drive up Medicare billings.

In 2010, a whistleblower filed a False Claims Act stating the company provided inappropriate rehabilitation therapy services to elderly patients to increase Medicare billings. That whistleblower, Tracy Lovvorn, former area director of rehabilitation at Extendicare division Progressive Step Corp., will receive $1.8 million in the settlement.

Lovvorn claimed Extendicare skilled nursing facilities in Pennsylvania and Delaware were increasing patients’ therapy minutes and providing unnecessary therapy during Medicare assessment periods to boost Medicare reimbursement levels, then decreasing therapy minutes during non-assessment periods to reduce their own costs.

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