- Extendicare Health Services, a long-term-care provider, and subsidiary Progressive Step Corp., a rehabilitation services company, will pay $38 million to the federal government and eight states to resolve allegations that they billed Medicare and Medicaid for substandard services and unreasonable rehabilitation therapy services, the U.S. Justice Department announced last week, calling the agreement its largest failure-of-care settlement. Delaware-based Extendicare, which manages 156 senior-care facilities in 11 states, also entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement this month with HHS' Office of the Inspector General to improve staffing and meet standards to better deliver care. The company said in a release that it denied engaging in any illegal conduct and that it agreed to the settlement without any admission of wrongdoing.
Extendicare paying $38 million fine for poor quality care, and other briefs
- Thomas Eric Duncan's temperature spiked to 103 degrees during the hours of his initial visit to an emergency room, a fever that was flagged with an exclamation point in the hospital's record-keeping system, his medical records, obtained by the Associated Press, show. Duncan was the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. Despite telling a nurse that he had recently been in Africa and displaying other symptoms that could indicate Ebola, the man who would become the only person to die so far from the disease in the U.S. underwent a battery of tests and was eventually sent home by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
- HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell acknowledged last Wednesday that HealthCare.gov is still a work in progress, with little more than a month before the start of the next open enrollment period through the state and federal exchanges. “Will there be imperfections? Yes. Things will not be perfect,” Burwell said during an event at the Kaiser Family Foundation's Washington office. Burwell declined to state a goal for how many individuals the agency hopes to sign up during the three-month enrollment period that begins Nov. 15.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.