Brookdale to pay almost $1 million to settle Emeritus claims

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Brookdale Senior Living will pay $979,000 to settle claims that Emeritus Senior Living, which it purchased in 2014, failed to refund to the U.S. government overpayments it received for Medicaid services, U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced Monday.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay the federal government $587,400 for payments that should have been refunded to the federal Medicaid program. An additional $391,600 will be divided between 18 states where Emeritus had facilities. The dollar amounts are estimates of overpayments Emeritus did not refund to state and federal programs between 2008 and 2014.

“While we're pleased that this matter has been resolved, it is not an admission of liability,” a Brookdale spokeswoman said in a statement to McKnight's Senior Living. “It's important to know that we were aware of the situation and were working toward repayment prior to the government's involvement. There were never any allegations of fraud, and we are putting this matter behind us so we can move forward and focus on our mission of enriching our residents' lives.”

The investigation began with an online hotline report from a former employee of Emeritus alleging that Emeritus systematically “wrote-off” credit balances as a result of limitations in the company's accounting software, according to the Justice Department. The accounting software has been replaced with a system that can better track overpayment.

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