Assisted Living Chain “Emeritus” Settles Allegations of Overbilling Government Programs
Former Washington State based Company Failed to return Overpayments
The United States Department of Justice and Emeritus Corporation, dba Emeritus Senior Living, today settled claims that Emeritus had failed to refund to the U.S. overpayments for Medicaid services, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Under the terms of the settlement, Emeritus admits no wrongdoing, but makes payments to the U.S. and various states totaling $979,000. Emeritus was headquartered in Seattle and had senior living facilities throughout the United States. In 2014 Emeritus was purchased by Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., of Brentwood, Tennessee.
According to the settlement agreement, Emeritus will pay the federal government $587,400 for payments it should have refunded to the federal Medicaid program. An additional $391,600 will be divided between eighteen states where Emeritus had facilities. The dollar amounts are estimates of overpayments Emeritus failed to refund to state and federal programs between 2008 and 2014. The investigation began with an online hotline report from a former employee of Emeritus alleging that Emeritus systematically “wrote-off” credit balances as a result of limitations in the company’s accounting software.
The accounting software has been replaced with one that can better track overpayment.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) led the investigation. The settlement was negotiated by Assistant United States Attorney Kayla Stahman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington. A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) Team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with Emeritus on behalf of the states and included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General for the states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Texas and Florida.