California nursing home company agrees to pay $48M to resolve inflated bill claims

Deal also resolves whistleblower lawsuits

LOS ANGELES - A California company that runs nursing homes in 10 states has agreed to pay $48 million to resolve claims that it submitted inflated bills to Medicare for services that either were unnecessary or never performed.
Federal prosecutors say the settlement reached with The Ensign Group, Inc. was unsealed late Monday by a judge in Los Angeles. The deal resolves a pair of whistleblower lawsuits filed by two former company employees.
Authorities say Ensign allegedly turned in false Medicare claims for more than a decade at six of its facilities in Southern California. The lawsuit also claims some patients were kept in the nursing homes longer than was necessary.
Ensign did not admit liability as part of the settlement. An email message left for the company was not immediately returned Tuesday.

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