January 7, 2010
--state to collect $90,000--
Jefferson City, Mo.—Attorney General Chris Koster said today five nursing homes operated by Cathedral Rock, a Texas corporation, pled guilty to felony health care fraud following a federal investigation.
Koster said the company owned and operated six nursing facilities in Missouri – SpringPlace Care Center, McLaran Care Center, and Cathedral Gardens Care Center in St. Louis; Oak Forest Skilled Care in Ballwin; Blanchette Place Care Center in St. Charles; and Heritage Park in Rolla. Koster said Heritage Park is not part of the criminal plea but is part of a civil settlement. He said Cathedral Rock is turning over operation of all its Missouri facilities to other operators and will no longer be doing business in Missouri.
Koster said the defendant engaged in billing practices designed to defraud Medicare and Missouri Medicaid by submitting false cost reports to Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided. In addition, he said, substandard care was provided that contributed to serious injury or death of residents.
“This kind of fraudulent conduct is not to be tolerated,” Koster said. “To defraud the taxpayers and then offer grossly substandard care to those who cannot care for themselves is unconscionable.”
Under the civil plea agreement, Cathedral Rock and majority owner C. Kent Harrington will pay the United States over $628,000, $90,000 of which will go to the state of Missouri. The criminal fine is $1 million.
Koster said citizens should report suspected Medicaid fraud to the Attorney General’s Office Medicaid fraud hotline at 800-286-3932, to the Department of Social Services’ Investigation Unit at 573-751-3285, or e-mail the complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.