Families will often ask us whether a nursing home can be charged for criminal actions. I wrote about that last week. The answer in Virginia is most often, no.
This week, headlines everywhere read that the Department of Justice is getting involved in a lawsuit against one of the largest nursing home chains – ManorCare, alleging Medicare Fraud.
Typically, if a person is injured by neglect or abuse at a facility, the only legal recourse is a civil lawsuit against the facility.You won’t see the DOJ or state Attorney General’s office stepping in on behalf of these individual families, or victims (generally). That is what private civil attorneys do.
If however, the company is found to be over-billing Medicare or Medicaid for services, state and federal governmental agencies may get involved to investigate the fraud and seek compensation from the corporate abuse.
Some state agencies or local agencies like the Adult Protective Services through your County’s DSS may investigate elder abuse or neglect, their investigation does not lead to the payment of fines, or any kind of compensation to the victims. Such investigations do not benefit victims financially in any way.
While it does appear to be rather confusing, if you have questions as to who to notify about abuse or neglect, or what role a law firm would have v. a local or state agency, call us today.