Feds settle substandard care allegations with Extendicare for $38M

In the government's largest failure-of-care false claims settlement with a skilled nursing facility chain, Extendicare Health Services Inc. and its subsidiary agreed to pay $38 million to the federal government and eight states, the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General announced. The settlement resolves charges that Extendicare billed Medicare and Medicaid for "materially substandard" services in 33 nursing homes. The government alleged that Extendicare facilities lacked sufficient skilled nurses, that the company failed to provide adequate catheter care and didn't follow protocols to prevent pressure ulcers or falls. Extendicare was also accused of providing unnecessary rehabilitation therapy. "This case demonstrates that the government will aggressively pursue allegations of abuse and grossly deficient care," Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson said. Announcement