A federal judge says the appeals backlog is not "egregious."
A federal judge says the appeals backlog is not “egregious.”

Government prosecutors have joined in three lawsuits accusing skilled nursing chain SavaSeniorCare LLC of submitting false claims to Medicare, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

The three original lawsuits, all filed by former SavaSeniorCare employees, claimed the company frequently submitted claims to Medicare for rehabilitation services there were not necessary or medically reasonable.

The government’s consolidated complaint alleges SavaSeniorCare “exerted significant pressure” on its skilled nursing facilities to meet “unrealistic” financial goals that pushed facilities to disregard patients’ medical needs and provide unnecessary therapy services. The complaint also claims SavaSeniorCare delayed patients’ discharges in order to increase Medicare payments.

SavaSeniorCare did not respond to McKnight’s request for comment Thursday afternoon. SavaSeniorCare is the fifth-largest nursing facility company in the country, with 200 facilities in 22 states.

In April, the government joined in similar whistleblower lawsuits against HCR ManorCare, which alleged the company put pressure on its facilities to reach financial goals that were unattainable unless they billed for unnecessary levels of therapy.