The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced plans to pursue criminal charges against SNFs accused of violating the False Claims Act, according to Bloomberg Law. In the past, these violations have been treated subject to civil penalties, but the DOJ will now bring criminal charges against more egregious offenders.
The False Claims Act penalizes providers that incorrectly bill Medicare for services not provided, but the DOJ asserts that these offences constitute criminal wire fraud and should be charged as such.
This change comes amidst a crackdown by the DOJ against Medicare fraud across the board. For example, 53 people in the Midwest were recently charged after illegitimately billing Medicare for$250 million in services not rendered.