The Justice Department and the New York State Office of the Attorney General have entered an agreement with eight owners of the Saratoga Center for Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care for $7,168,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Medicaid program for “worthless services” provided to the residents.
The initial lawsuit alleged that the owners provided worthless services to residents, resulting in deteriorating physical conditions that violated federal and state regulations. Operators allegedly failed to staff the home, resulting in patients suffering from medication errors, unnecessary falls and the development of pressure ulcers. Additionally, the Saratoga Center failed to maintain hot water throughout the facility, provide adequate linen supply and dispose of solid food waste.
The United States contends that between February 2017 and February 2021 the settling parties knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false claims for payment to Medicaid for worthless nursing services. This settlement resolves those allegations.
“Nursing homes should protect the health and well-being of every resident,” says U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman for the Northern District of New York. “That did not happen at Saratoga Center. Instead, a business dispute between the operators and landlord led to dangerous conditions for residents and staff, and caused the submission of false claims to Medicaid for worthless services. This case demonstrates that we will hold responsible people accountable when they pocket federal funds while providing substandard care. Thank you to Attorney General James and her office for collaborating on this case.”
The facility closed in 2021.