Kickback charges filed against Missouri nursing home care provider

The federal government has accused RehabCare Group of offering kickbacks to a Missouri nursing home in exchange for allowing it to provide care at its facilities. According to a report from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the company is accused of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare for more than $10 million.

The Dept. of Justice has filed charges against RehabCare Group, a provider of therapy services for nursing homes, believing the company offered money in kickback payments to Health Sytems Inc. so it could offer care at its chain of nursing homes in the state. In exchange for the kickbacks, the nursing home company would refer them Medicare and Medicaid patients across its network.

The charges against the company have been transferred to U.S. District Court in St. Louis. RehabCare Group is accused of violating anti-kickback laws that bar the exchange of money for Medicare and Medicaid referrals. The Justice Dept., in filing the charges, is joining a lawsuit originally filed by a whistleblower against RehabCare.

An attorney for the accused said the government’s accusations are “threadbare,” according to the report, citing court documents already filed in the case. The government believes RehabCare Group has received at least $70 million in revenue through its arranged deal with Health Systems. Named as defendants in the case are RehabCare Group, Health Systems Inc., and its affiliate, Rehab Systems of Missouri LLC.

The government believes RehabCare offered an initial $600,000 payment to Rehab Systems and then offered an additional 30 percent cut of all Medicare and Medicaid funding it received from the company’s referrals. Rehab Systems and Health Systems allegedly split the cut it received through the course of the deal.