AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, national trial firm Reid Collins made public a private whistleblower lawsuit filed on behalf of its client Integra Med Analytics LLC (“Integra”) against a major group of skilled nursing facilities in New York tied to Isaac Laufer that was previously under seal pursuant to the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The qui tam action alleging Medicare fraud exceeding $129 million was unsealed upon the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) announcement that it intervened in the case against eleven skilled nursing facilities, their management company, owner, and a senior employee for a decade of fraudulently billing Medicare for unnecessary services.
The DOJ’s lawsuit carries forward claims developed by Integra through its extensive investigation and data analysis of the Medicare billing practices of eleven New York-based facilities (“Facilities”). Integra’s investigation demonstrated that these defendants were engaged in significant Medicare fraud through wrongfully extending patient stays and providing unnecessary and unreasonable rehab without regard for patients’ medical needs.
DOJ’s Intervention Expands Timeframe and Expected Monetary Size of Fraud
Integra’s lawsuit, filed under seal in 2017 by Reid Collins, brought claims against the Laufer related entities for over $129 million in alleged Medicare fraud. Following its own investigation of Integra’s allegations, DOJ filed its own complaint-in-intervention alleging that the very schemes identified by Integra continued through 2019.
Like Integra’s original qui tam complaint, the DOJ’s complaint-in-intervention alleges that from at least January 2010 through September 2019, the Defendants systematically kept Medicare patients at the Facilities longer than reasonable or necessary, and put those patients on higher levels of rehabilitation therapy than reasonable or necessary. These practices were designed to increase the amounts billed to Medicare beyond what was justified based on patients’ clinical needs. In some instances, the Facilities went so far as to intentionally limit patients’ progress in order to create the appearance of a continued need for services.
The Defendants in the government’s complaint-in-intervention are Isaac Laufer, Tami Whitney, Paragon Management SNF LLC, Montclair Care Center, Inc., East Rockaway Center LLC, Excel at Woodbury for Rehabilitation and Nursing, LLC, Long Island Care Center Inc., Treetops Rehabilitation & Care Center LLC, Sutton Park Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, LLC, Suffolk Restorative Therapy & Nursing, LLC, Oasis Rehabilitation and Nursing, LLC, Forest Manor Care Center, Inc., Surge Rehabilitation & Nursing LLC, and Quantum Rehabilitation & Nursing LLC. Laufer is a part owner of ten of the eleven Facilities and operates all eleven Facilities through Paragon Management SNF. Tami Whitney is the Coordinator of Rehabilitation Services for the Facilities, and in this role she instructed and pressured staff to engage in the alleged fraudulent practices.
Reid Collins partners P. Jason Collins and Jeremy Wells led the prosecution of the whistleblower action on Integra’s behalf. Collins on the DOJ’s intervention: “We are very pleased with DOJ’s intervention in this matter and proud to be part of assisting Integra in its mission to expose those who defraud the government. The government’s intervention is a tremendous validation of Integra’s stellar work on behalf of American taxpayers. Integra’s investigation revealed Laufer to be among the worst offenders in the country, and we have nothing but praise for the outstanding US attorneys in the Southern District who dug into this matter and agreed to prosecute these defendants.”
The case is captioned UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel. INTEGRA MED ANALYTICS LLC, Plaintiff, v. ISAAC LAUFER, et al. Defendants, Case No. 17-CV-9424, USDC, SDNY.
About Reid Collins
Reid Collins & Tsai LLP is one of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ trial firms, litigating complex business disputes and achieving billions of dollars in settlements and judgments for its clients. Its team is comprised of accomplished trial lawyers, including former federal prosecutors, who have extensive experience prosecuting financial fraud and corporate malfeasance cases, bankruptcy and insolvency related litigation, professional liability claims, whistleblower actions, and cross-border disputes. The firm represents fund managers, investor groups, trustees, receivers, liquidators, international banks, companies, government entities, and individuals in federal and state courts across the country.
For more information visit www.reidcollins.com
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