Olive View Staff Under Fire for Alleged Violation of Anti-Kickback Laws
Los Angeles County officials are investigating claims that three Olive View-UCLA Medical Center staff members received gifts from nearby nursing homes in exchange for referring Medi-Cal and Medicare patients to their facilities, the Los Angeles Times reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The three nursing homes accused of providing the gifts are:
- Sun Air Convalescent Hospital in Panorama City;
- Valley Manor Convalescent Hospital in North Hollywood; and
- Valley Palms Care Center in North Hollywood.
According to Olive View records, the three staff members accused of accepting gifts referred at least 42 patients to the nursing homes between January 2009 and May 5, 2010.
Spokespeople for the nursing homes either have refuted the allegations or declined to comment on the situation.
The allegations suggest that the Olive View workers could have violated the county's code of ethics, as well as state and federal anti-kickback laws.
The county's code of ethics bars employees from accepting gifts in exchange for referrals. Under California's anti-kickback laws, it is a misdemeanor or felony for employees of licensed Medicare or Medi-Cal providers to provide or receive gifts in exchange for referrals.In addition, the federal Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute makes it a felony to provide or receive gifts in exchange for referring patients covered by the programs (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 6/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.