News source Health Law 360 today reported that nursing home owner Ralex Services agreed to pay $2.2 Million after a whistleblower came forward and revealed to the government that the company was overstating to Medicaid the level of care residents needed in order to boost profits.

This disturbing story is all too common.  HHS reports as of February 26, 2014, that the government had recovered $19.2 billion in fraud and abuse over the last five years.

This is the real driver of health care cost.  Although lawyers and lawsuits get typically get blamed high health care costs, this is not true.  Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the premier health care organizations in American conducted a study and found that medical malpractice claims over $1 million accounted for “far less than 1 percent of national medical expenditures in the United States.”

Looking out for fraud and keeping nursing homes honest is essential. If you or a loved one has any questions, please contact Stark & Stark today.