Nursing home medical director loses whistleblower case

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A nursing home medical director in Tennessee lost his whistleblower case when the state Court of Appeals ruled that he was not terminated.

Larry Howard's annual contract was not renewed after the director reported alleged Medicare violations to a government agency. However, because he was not discharged or terminated, his lawsuit was invalid, according to the state.

The Tennessee whistleblower law states that an individual suing must prove that he or she was an employee, refused to participate in or keep quiet about the illegal activities, and was discharged only because of their refusal. This did not hold true in Howard's case.

Howard had reported the alleged illegal billing practices of a Life Care facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., to the company and to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.