The Ensign Group, Mission Viejo, Calif., has earmarked $48 million toward a tentative settlement agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that would resolve allegations that it overbilled Medicare.
Ensign, which operates post-acute and urgent-care facilities, has been under investigation since 2006, when regulators first delved into claims it submitted for rehabilitation services provided by six of its skilled-nursing facilities in Southern California.
Under the terms of the agreement-in-principle, Ensign will make a lump-sum payment in the second or third quarter of this year and enter into a corporate integrity agreement with HHS' inspector general's office. The agreement requires approval from the Justice Department, the inspector general's office and the court.
Ensign said in a news release that it put aside $15 million in reserves in the fourth quarter of last year, and expects to increase that amount by an additional $33 million this year.