June 21, 2024
Health system shuts door on case affirming right to spend nursing home pay on other service lines
Health system shuts door on case affirming right to spend nursing home pay on other service lines
Photo credit: AndreyPopov/Getty Images



A health system has resolved the final allegation in a 12-year-old False Claims case over how it spent its nursing home proceeds, months after a federal appeals court ordered the case dismissed.

Catholic Health System invested some of its reimbursement for nursing home care in other parts of its business, activity the Second Circuit Court of Appeals cleared as legal in an October ruling. The court’s decision was the first-ever clarifying the intent of the Benefits Conversion Statute and confirmed skilled nursing providers can spend pay they earn as they see fit, long-term care legal experts told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News at the time.

Whistleblower Michael Quartararo filed suit in 2012 against the Long Island health system, specifically alleging it had incorrectly routed reimbursements earned for services at St. Catherine of Siena Nursing Home to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. Quartararo characterized the spending as a fraudulent diversion of resources, although the Department of Justice and New York Attorney General declined to intervene in the case.

Quartararo worked at the nursing home for 38 years, but he was fired in 2012, according to court documents. He claimed that his dismissal was in retaliation for the False Claims case he filed.

When the court tossed Quartararo’s False Claims allegations last year, it remanded them to the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York and ordered a dismissal, followed by a mandate to do so in December.

But the retaliation claim was not resolved until this week, when the court declared the case officially closed. Both parties met in a settlement conference on March 28, with a voluntary agreement to dismiss signed Monday.

Thomas D’Antonio, an attorney for Catholic Health System, did not immediately respond to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ request for comment Wednesday.

An attorney for Quarararp told Bloomberg the case had been settled “amicably but confidentially.”

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