Trump administration expected to keep cracking down on nursing home fraud

Fraud within the skilled nursing sector is expected to remain a focus of the Department of Justice under President Donald Trump, according to experts.

Attorneys and former DOJ officials interviewed by Bloomberg BNA predicted that the new administration is likely to preserve several Obama-era policies in place. Those include the use of data analysis in fraud investigations, and the Yates plan to prosecute more individuals.

“The issue of whether to hold individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing hasn't been a partisan issue thus far, and Attorney General nominee [Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-AL)] is a former prosecutor who has historically been tough on white-collar crime,” Eric Fader, attorney with Day Pitney LLP, told Bloomberg.

The department's efforts to combat fraud in post-acute care will also likely remain a top priority, said Zane David Memeger, an attorney with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. That may include the the DOJ's regional nursing home task forces, launched last year to target “grossly substandard” facilities.

“We have an aging population, and nursing homes and home health, they're vulnerable to fraud,” Memeger said.  

He also indicated that fraud in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries will continue to receive DOJ scrutiny.

Despite what's expected to be a continued focus on healthcare fraud, the new administration's rocky transition may leave a temporary enforcement gap, Fader noted.