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Case Name U.S. v. Greenbelt Nursing NH-MD-0001
Docket / Court 8:98-cv-03113-aw ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Nursing Home Conditions
Case Summary
On September 14, 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit under 31 U.S.C. § 3729 (the False Claims Act) against Greenbelt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Center's parent corporations, Northern Health Facility and Extendicare Health Services, were also ... read more >
On September 14, 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit under 31 U.S.C. § 3729 (the False Claims Act) against Greenbelt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Center's parent corporations, Northern Health Facility and Extendicare Health Services, were also named defendants. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

The government alleged that the Center had failed to comply with the provisions required for facilities filing claims for Medicare and Medicaid bills, and its lack of compliance indicated a failure to provide adequate care to residents. The claim was prompted by reports from the State of Maryland, which surveyed the facility in January 1998 and found it to be out of compliance with Medicaid provider participation requirements and with standards of proper patient care.

After several attempts to revise its policies, Greenbelt successfully demonstrated to the State of Maryland and the federal Health Care Financing Administration its compliance with Medicare provider requirements, and its certifications were reinstated in July 1998.

Despite the reinstatement of the facility's Medicare provider status, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Greenbelt's noncompliance continued. An August 1998 visit to the facility revealed that it was still failing to meet Medicare program requirements and failing to provide adequate care to patients.

The government's complaints about Greenbelt's deficiencies in care included a failure to provide adequate health care, to administer medication properly, or to provide wound care. Greenbelt also failed to meet residents' nutritional needs. Furthermore, staff training was insufficient. As such, the government alleged that Greenbelt's submission of claims for payment to Medicare and Medicaid programs for January - August 1998 violated the False Claims Act, in that the claims falsely represented compliance with conditions for payment under the Nursing Home Reform Act. The government asked the court for preliminary injunctive relief and monetary damages as a penalty.

On September 14, 1998, the court (Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.) approved the parties' Joint Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief. The Motion provided for Greenbelt to comply with the Nursing Home Reform Act, in particular those portions regarding Medicaid and Medicare payments. The parties agreed to a have a monitor supervise the enforcement of the modifications. In addition, the Motion called for improvements in basic care and resident safety, as well as nutrition and wound care, assessments and care plans, and activities. The use of physical and chemical restraints would be used only in appropriate situations, and psychiatric, nursing and medical care would be available whenever necessary. Finally, the parties agreed to employ a sufficient number of adequately trained staff. U.S. v. Northern Health Facilities, Inc., 25 F. Supp. 2d 690 (D. Md. 1998).

On December 7, 1998, Greenbelt Nursing home filed a crossclaim against the government. Greenbelt sought a court order enjoining the government from terminating its participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, arguing that it may have to close if it stopped receiving such payments. After a hearing on December 9, 1998, the court (Judge Williams) denied the plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order on December 28, 1998. Northern Health Facilities v. U.S., 39 F. Supp. 2d. 563 (D. Md. 1998).

On January 5, 1999, the parties put forth a joint motion to rescind the injunction, which the court (Judge Williams) approved on January 7, 1999. The court further ordered the Temporary Manager and Monitor to immediately cease their activities as prescribed by the Order. Subsequently, on May 19, 1999, the parties entered a joint Motion for Settlement Order, which the court (Judge Williams) approved on May 21, 1999. The case was closed on the same day.

Laura Uberti - 06/22/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Funding
Payment for care
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729
Defendant(s) Greenbelt Nursing & Rehab. Center
Greenbelt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1998 - 1999
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
98-03113 (D. Md.) 05/21/1999
NH-MD-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Preliminary Injunctive Order 01/01/1998 (D. Md.)
NH-MD-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Complaint 09/14/1998
NH-MD-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief 09/14/1998
NH-MD-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Preliminary Injunction Order 09/14/1998 (25 F.Supp.2d 690) (D. Md.)
NH-MD-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion 12/28/1998 (39 F.Supp.2d 563) (D. Md.)
NH-MD-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Williams, Alexander Jr. (D. Md.)
NH-MD-0001-0004 | NH-MD-0001-0005 | NH-MD-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartz, Philip D. (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004
Battaglia, Lynne A. (Maryland)
NH-MD-0001-0005
Hirchfield, Martha (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004
Kameen, Elizabeth M. (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004
Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004
McDermott, Kathleen (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0001 | NH-MD-0001-0002 | NH-MD-0001-0003 | NH-MD-0001-0005 | NH-MD-0001-9000
Nolan, Margaret Ann (Maryland)
NH-MD-0001-0004
Sekus, Perry F. (Minnesota)
NH-MD-0001-0001 | NH-MD-0001-0002 | NH-MD-0001-0003 | NH-MD-0001-0005 | NH-MD-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gray, Jefferson M. (Maryland)
NH-MD-0001-0001 | NH-MD-0001-0005 | NH-MD-0001-9000
Sollins, Howard L. (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004 | NH-MD-0001-0005
Tarver, Kimberly Nichelson (District of Columbia)
NH-MD-0001-0004
Other Lawyers None on record

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