Brookdale 'whistleblower' suit dismissed

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A federal judge has dismissed a former Brookdale Senior Living employee's False Claims Act suit against the company while leaving the door open for an amended complaint, according to published reports.

Marjorie Prather had made only “conclusory” accusations that the firm committed Medicare fraud, and failed to allege a specific representative false claim submitted to Medicare as required by a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure otherwise known as “rule 9(b),” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger in her March 31 ruling.

Prather had alleged that Brookdale and several co-defendant subsidiaries submitted Medicare claims knowing they were improperly certified for home health services and lacked medical necessity, and also that they improperly billed for patient assessments. Prather formerly worked for Brookdale Senior Living as a registered nurse.

The judge said Prather failed to allege “with particularity” that Brookdale submitted an actual false claim to Medicare, the “indispensable” element of an FCA claim, according to Bloomberg News services.

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