According to the Department of Justice, the federal government has filed a consolidated complaint intervening in three whistleblowers’ qui tam lawsuits alleging that HCR ManorCare and its affiliates violated the False Claims Act. The Justice Department alleges that the medical providers engaged in systematic overbilling of Medicare and TRICARE, the healthcare program for U.S. military members and their families, for therapy services. The government’s complaint names HCR ManorCare, Inc., owned by The Carlyle Group; Manor Care Inc.; HCR ManorCare Services, LLC; and Heartland Employment Services, LLC (collectively “ManorCare”) as defendants.
According to ManorCare’s website, it employees over 55,000 people and operates 280 skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers nationwide under the names Heartland, ManorCare Health Services and Arden Courts.
According to the Consolidated Complaint in Intervention, the whistleblowers, also known as relators, are three former employees of three Heartland entities. Relator Christine Ribik, a licensed occupational therapist, initiated the first lawsuit against ManorCare under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act in 2009 in the Eastern District of Virginia. Relator Patrick Gerard Carson, a physical therapy assistant, filed his qui tam action in 2011. The third relator, Marie Slough, is a physical therapist who brought her qui tam suit in 2014. All three of the whistleblower’s actions were consolidated by the Court in November 2014.