Must-Reads: Report Blisters Consulate; Iowa Attempts to Claw Back $25M

Local concerns feature prominently in this week’s roundup of must-read news, where we highlight great skilled nursing stories you might have missed in the past week.

Consulate investigation

USA Today Network — Florida published an investigation into Consulate Health Care as part of its “Neglected” series, which examines nursing home issues in the state of Florida. The investigation found that many of the poorly performing nursing homes in the state are owned by Consulate.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has repeatedly cited Consulate homes for patient neglect and mistreatment, the article said, though the agency rarely took action beyond a small fine.

Consulate is owned by the Atlanta-based private equity firm Formation Capital.

“Despite the big money generated from Medicare and Medicaid programs serving the poor and elderly, Consulate’s nursing homes are designed to appear cash-strapped,” the publication wrote in an installment published Thursday. “While individual nursing home LLCs are essentially empty shells, they pay rent, management and rehabilitation service fees to Consulate or Formation Capital-affiliated companies.”

Maitland, Fla.-based Consulate controls one of nine nursing homes in the state, and manages 210 homes with 22,059 beds in 21 states, according to a 2016 American Health Care Association report.

Iowa’s Medicaid clawback struggles

The state of Iowa is struggling to collect millions of dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse, according to a review of Medicaid enforcement efforts in the state by the Des Moines Register.

The federal government has greatly overestimated the taxpayer funds recovered by he Medicaid Fraud Control Units now operating in Iowa and 48 other states, the article claimed. Iowa is credited with $26.2 million in “recoveries” over the past three years, but has only collected just above $5 million.

In addition, the state has yet to impose any of the new financial penalties created by state lawmakers and the governor five years ago for providers that refuse to reimburse Iowa for Medicaid overpayments.

One of the companies cited by the publication was Morse Enterprises, which overbilled Iowa Medicaid $2.5 million while also failing to provide the minimum standard of care for nursing home residents. The company has yet to pay back the money four years later.

Written by Maggie Flynn

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Maggie Flynn on Linkedin
Maggie Flynn
Business reporter at Aging Media Network
When she's not working, Maggie enjoys running, reading, writing and sports, in no particular order. Favorite things include murder mysteries, Lake Michigan and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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