The OIG has been known to go after all types of healthcare professionals, but… the housekeeper?
Itasca County, Minnesota, and its nursing home, the Itasca Nursing Home d/b/a Grand Village (Itasca), a county-owned nursing home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, entered into a $179,484.98 settlement agreement with OIG, as penalty for having employed an excluded individual as a housekeeper and health information specialist. The settlement is just one more notch in the ever-growing reach of the OIG, which has been showing more and more — creativity, shall we say? — in the types of excluded healthcare providers that warrant punitive measures when employed by facilities that participate in Medicaid or Medicare.
Other ‘creative’ penalties this year include:
- Dentist, 3-year exclusion penalty issued 8/25/15.
- Dental assistant, $22,319.26 fine issued 6/30/15.
- Certified nurse aide, $77,772.08 fine issued 6/8/30.
- Vocational nurse, $70,000 fine issued 4/27/15.
- Laboratory technician, $129,216.80 fine issued 3/23/15.
- Pharmacist, $96,259.57 fine issued 1/23/15.
This, of course, in addition to all of the garden variety penalties for excluded nurses and physicians, as well as a host of penalties for unidentified providers. Not to mention the penalties issued for facilities that subcontracted with excluded ambulance drivers last year.
The OIG might not be your favorite law enforcement agency, but… you’ve got to give them credit for originality, at least.