False Claims out, but firing complaint allowed vs. Trilogy
Trilogy Health Systems won a partial victory but still faces wrongful firing allegations
A federal judge dismissed a nearly three-year-old False Claims Act case against Trilogy Health Systems in May, but the legal travails for the provider aren't over.
The case placed former occupational therapist Amanda Davis against the healthcare system, which has more than 80 skilled nursing facilities in the Midwest.
In a 37-page suit filed in July 2015, Davis claimed Trilogy routinely misclassified patients into Ultra-High therapy levels and that she witnessed “corporate pressure” on employees to “engage in fraudulent practices.”She also alleged that rehab directors argued with therapists over whether patients should be discharged. Her case was later amended to include more Trilogy facilities, including Trilogy Rehab Services, and a second whistleblower was added.
However, the federal government ultimately declined to intervene in the case. A U.S. judge on May 2 dismissed six of eight counts, allowing Davis to continue her fight for damages related to being “discharged or otherwise discriminated against” in her employment.
Trilogy Health Services representatives did not return calls from McKnight's by production deadline.
According the to the initial complaint, Davis worked for Trilogy from March 2011 until July 2013.
The case outlined 16 examples of residents, including some with end-stage dementia or COPD, allegedly being pushed to do therapy or cases assigned to other therapists when Davis refused to force the beneficiary to participate in further care.
“The retaliation against Relator consisted of several adverse employment actions including, but not limited to termination,” Davis' attorney wrote.
Though Davis sought trebled damages under the law for her false claims allegations, the potential damages related to her firing had not yet been argued.