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LTC Bullet: Employees Paid Bonus to Unload Medicaid Patients

Thursday July 2, 1998


Another example why people should plan ahead to avoid Medicaid dependency:

The Savannah Morning News reported last week that Savannah Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a Vencor-owned property, had been offering its employees a $200 bonus for each "properly planned" discharge of a Medicaid patient.

The Georgia Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) indicated that there had been at least 14 cases of improperly discharged or transferred patients in the past year and that two patients died shortly after being moved.

David Dunbar, Director of the ORS's LTC section, said in the story that the bonus was not necessarily illegal or even unethical, unless employees were encouraged to discharge patients before they were ready.

The ORS referred the matter to the state health care fraud control unit in Atlanta and recommended that Vencor be fined for improper discharge practices.

Although the facility has dropped its bonus policy, this story provides one more example why Medicaid-financed LTC can be a scary proposition.

Source: The Savannah Morning News 6/26/98