SNF agrees to pay $1.2M to settle rehab claims

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a comment from Ross Manor.

A Maine skilled nursing facility has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the federal government to settle allegations it did not prevent RehabCare Group East Inc. from providing unnecessary therapy.

Ross Manor, which is owned by First Atlantic Corporation and Rosscare Nursing Homes Inc., was accused of letting inflated, unreasonable or unnecessary rehab claims be submitted to Medicare prior to October 2011.

“This settlement is the latest in a series of resolutions involving Medicare billing for rehabilitation therapy at skilled nursing facilities,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in a statement announcing the agreement Monday. “We will continue our work to ensure that the provision of care in skilled nursing facilities is based on patients' clinical needs and not tied to the financial targets of the companies providing their care.”

A Ross Manor spokesman said in a statement the facility was pleased the matter has been resolved.

"Throughout this matter, Ross Manor has worked with the government to understand where it can exercise more oversight of the billing and record-keeping practices of its contractors," said EMHS Chief Communications Officer Suzanne R. Spruce. "Ross Manor has reviewed its procedures and is confident it has put measures in place to improve its oversight of the billing and record-keeping practices of its contractors going forward. Ross Manor remains committed to providing only the highest quality care and is pleased to have this matter resolved.

The case reflects the latest skilled nursing provider problems involving RehabCare. In March, ArchCare agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle claims related to rehab claims. The government said ArchCare failed to prevent RehabCare from engaging “in a pattern and practice of providing high levels of therapy that were not reasonable or necessary during so-called ‘assessment reference periods."