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Nursing Home Chain Settles Whistlblower Lawsuit

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Brentwood, Tennessee based Vanguard Healthcare, which owns 18 nursing homes in seven states, has agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former employee William B. Caldwell alleging the firm was defrauding Medicare and Medicaid by double-billing and other illegal practices. The lawsuit was filed in 2003, and the settlement has yet to be finalized. U. S. District Judge John T. Nixon unsealed details of the lawsuit in September.

According to the lawsuit, Caldwell was the director of operations at Imperial Manor in Tennessee when he repeatedly warned Vanguard officials that they were violating the law, for which he was fired. “Vanguard terminated Caldwell in an effort to threaten, harass and discriminate against him,” the suit states, adding that he was “retaliated against and discharged by such defendants because of actions he took to uncover, expose and stop defendants’ illegal conduct,” the Tennessean reported.

Vanguard spokesperson Robert Jordan said in a statement released Monday that Vanguard “has reached a settlement in principle” but “disputes the validity of these claims and denies any wrongdoing. However, our organization has made a business decision to enter into a settlement agreement so that we avoid further prolonging this litigation.” He also said that, “In no way did this complaint call into question the quality of care offered at any of our facilities.”

Vanguard, as part of the settlement, will develop and implement a compliance plan, and has signed a “corporate integrity agreement” with federal officials. disclaimer: This article: Nursing Home Chain Settles Whistlblower Lawsuit was posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 8:05 pm at and is filed under Fraud Lawsuits.

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