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San Diego Nursing Homes Pay to Resolve Kickback and Fraud Allegations

A group of San Diego nursing homes owned and operated by Brius Management Co. will pay $6.9 million to resolve allegations pursuant to the federal and California State False Claims Acts and the Anti-Kickback Statute. According to the charges, employees at the four nursing homes paid kickbacks for patient referrals to discharge planners at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego.

The four nursing homes entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) with the United States Attorney in San Diego last year. Employees of the nursing homes admitted that they used corporate credit cards to pay for gifts that were given to planners at Scripps.

A DPA is an agreement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and defendants that delineates an agreement not to prosecute if certain conditions are met. Under the agreement, the employees admitted wrongdoing, but said that they performed these acts without the knowledge of Brius. The four nursing homes also have entered into Corporate Integrity Agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services. Both the state of California and the federal government are owed money under the agreement.

The case was brought by a whistleblower who was a former employee of one of the nursing homes. He will receive 20% of each of settlement payments.

Robert B. Vogel, MD, JD
Retinal Ophthalmologist at Piedmont Eye Center, Lynchburg VA;
Attorney, Overbey Hawkins & Wright, PLLS, Lynchburg, VA;
Adjunct Professor, Humanities and Bioethics, Liberty University School of Medicine, Lynchburg, VA.

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