Sava Senior Care Alleged to Provide Sub-Par Staffing and Billing for Unnecessary Services
The Nursing Home Giant Has Settled a Case Brought by the Federal Government for $11.2M, Alleging Sava Nursing Homes Submitted False Claims to Increase Medicare Revenues
SavaSeniorCare LLC, a skilled nursing facility operator in Georgia, has agreed to pay more than 11 million dollars (in addition to further penalties, should certain contingencies occur) to resolve allegations that the entity violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare for services fraudulently. The complaint against Sava originated in 2015 and made claims against Sava’s behavior during the period of 2008 to 2012. During this time, it was alleged that Sava billed Medicare for rehabilitative services that residents did not need or that were not performed at a level of quality that made them effective.
This case was initially brought forth using the False Claims Act’s provisions for whistleblowers. If you know of a fraud or unnecessary service being provided in a nursing home, contact our whistleblower attorneys today. You may be entitled to a large cash award for exposing fraud involving Medicare and Medicaid.
Understanding the Allegations in the Multi-Million Dollar Case Against SavaSenior Care
According to the Department of Justice, one of the drivers behind this alleged behavior appeared to be Sava’s pressure on its nursing facilities to meet unrealistic and stringent financial benchmarks, which prompted the interest in billing for services that Medicare and Medicaid labeled as “worthless” or “substandard.” In some cases, this involved prescribing rehabilitative therapy to residents who did not need it.
For example, as whistleblower attorneys, we will occasionally come across a facility in other nursing home chains performing intense physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy on a non-responsive resident. These hours of therapy will not result in any kind of progress in the patient. Instead, they are performed simply to make money and bill Medicare.
In other allegations brought by the US government against Sava, it was alleged that Sava failed to discharge patients in a timely manner, even when they were medically ready and able to be discharged, in order to hold them and continue to receive Medicare payments.
Our firm has seen this in practice too, with other corporate nursing home chains. If a facility is under census and not at capacity, the clinical team may hang on to a resident for additional time, simply because they have “good insurance.”
Inadequate Staffing Allegations Against Sava Nursing Homes
The government maintained its allegations that Sava’s nursing care services did not meet the federal standards for adequate levels of care, either through interaction with residents or through the failure to meet appropriate staffing levels.
When a nursing home fails to provide enough staff to care for residents, injuries are inevitable. In fact, our nursing home abuse attorneys find that the most common culprit of neglect-related injuries like bed sores, falls and wrongful death, is understaffing.
The Settlement Agreement Between Sava and the Department of Justice
Sava will pay the government $11.2 million. Going forward, Sava has agreed to comply with a five-year corporate integrity agreement that will annually review patient outcomes and treatment using an independent third party. Despite settling for the large monetary amount, the Sava representative called the government’s allegations “unfounded” and denied all wrongdoing.
The related legal actions resulting from this event are:
- United States ex rel. Hayward v. SavaSeniorCare, LLC, et al., No. 3:11-cv-0821 (M.D. Tenn.)
- United States ex rel. Scott v. SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC, 3:15-cv-0404 (M.D. Tenn.)
- United States ex rel. Kukoyi v. Sava Senior Care, L.L.C., et al., No. 3:15-cv-1102 (M.D. Tenn.)
- United States, et al. ex rel. Thornton, et al. v. SavaSeniorCare, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 16-CV-0840 (E.D. Pa.)
If you believe your loved one was abused or neglected inside a long term care facility, like a Sava nursing home, contact Senior Justice Law Firm immediately. Call Senior Justice Law Firm toll free at 888-375-9998 or utilize our live chat feature on our website.
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*The above does not mean your loved one would be in harm at this facility. Each facility gets inspected often. Almost all facilities have deficiencies. Many face civil lawsuits. You should not make a facility placement decision based solely on the above information. Each case is different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome or indicate an expected outcome on your particular case. The above prior lawsuit information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney. This individual case information above is publicly filed information gathered from the publicly filed complaint. This information and these cases are not the work of this law firm. The inspection results are provided from public government agency surveys. The state Department of Health conducts a survey of all nursing home facilities at least once every 15 months. The deficiencies listed on this page may have been corrected after the date of the inspection and date of publishing this material. Citations, ratings and deficiencies are current as of the date of this post and will change later on. The inspection findings published are not complete. You may find the most up to date information at medicare.gov. This material is not endorsed by the facility or by any governmental agency. Speak with an attorney immediately if you believe you have a viable case against a nursing home, assisted living facility or medical facility.