An interesting article published by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, dated December 14, 2019, caught our attention. You can view the article here.
The article discusses how senior care-home operators in several states were caught stealing workers’ wages or breaking other labor laws. And despite violating the law, these operators continue to take government health care funding. According to Reveal:
The federal government and states share the cost of Medicaid to cover personal care services for low-income people, including seniors in assisted living facilities. States spent more than $10 billion in state and federal Medicaid funds on assisted living services for more than 330,000 people in 2014, or an average of about $30,000 per person, according to a 2018 Government Accountability Office report. Caregivers at these facilities provide vital services for the elderly, including changing adult diapers, preventing bedsores, and dressing and bathing residents.
Companies may be prohibited from collecting Medicaid if they have been convicted of Medicare or Medicaid fraud or patient abuse or neglect, among other offenses. However, the federal agency that administers Medicaid – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – does not police whether senior care-home operators comply with wage and hour laws.
Given that this is an area rife with fraud and funded by tax dollars, it is ideally suited for whistleblowers. Outing these kinds of improprieties protects patients, improves our public health system and saves tax dollars. And as we’ve previously noted, whistleblowers who come forward can be financially rewarded if the government prevails.