Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers: Update on Michigan Maggot Case

nursing home abuse lawyers in NJ and PALast month, our nursing home abuse lawyers wrote about a facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan where maggots were found in a patient’s catheter. The staff of the Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor was told to document the incident as “debridement,” which is a term that means dead tissue, not maggots. Now, three former employees of the facility have sued the home and parent company, claiming that they were fired for reporting the abuse. The state came to the home after one of the former certified nursing aides filed a complaint due to a patient fall. When the investigators were visiting the facility, all three of the aides told them about the maggots. Nikenda Morton, Wanda Mosley and Latasha Bryant are seeking relief under the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act, asking for a jury trial and seeking unspecified compensatory damages for economic injury, including loss of employment, mental and emotional distress, humiliation, all attorney fees and court costs.

State Investigation Uncovers More Problems in Facility

According to the lawsuit that was filed on November 22, the nursing home also suspended and eventually fired two nursing assistants, a nurse, and a nurse manager in order to prevent them from participating in the investigation. They also tried to hide a resident’s fall and injuries that resulted from the resident’s family and state officials by telling Morton to not write a report on the incident. Despite their efforts, the investigation was completed and the state found that the Whitehall Healthcare Center failed to

provide appropriate hygiene and catheter care to a resident whose vaginal area became infested with maggots: failed to supervise two residents in wheelchairs, both of whom were injured as a result; failed to provide a sanitary, comfortable and orderly interior; failed to adequately monitor the fluid intake and output for a patient who became dehydrated; failed to maintain complete staff personnel files and complete required certification, license and background checks.”

According to state officials, these problems have all since been corrected.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility and you believe that the care they are receiving is negligent or inadequate, contact our professionals for a free case evaluation or consultation. Contact the Mininno Law Office by phone at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Qui Tam: What Is It?

The term qui tam is actually an abbreviated form of the latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro seipse,” which means “he who sues for the king as for himself.” Whistleblower is another term used to describe the same type of claim. When an employee gets wind of their employer’s illegal business practices, they have the opportunity to file a qui tam claim against them, and are usually awarded a large portion of the settlement that the government receives.

Whistleblower vs. Qui Tam Claims – Is There a Difference?

new jersey philadelphia qui tam whistleblower lawyers explanationWhistleblower and qui tam claims do essentially the same thing; they allow employees to file lawsuits against their employers for fraud or other illegal practices. Many times, especially in the healthcare industry, companies engage in fraudulent advertising to increase popularity of a product. Pharmaceutical companies are largely guilty of committing this type of fraud. Creating false or untested uses for a certain drug, or offering physicians large amounts of money (kickbacks) to recommend and prescribe certain drugs is very much illegal, and equally as dangerous.

Fraudulent billing is another problem for health programs such as Medicare. It is estimated that close to 10% of all medicare charges are indeed fradulent. Commonly, this fraud occurs in the form of :

  • Billing multiple times for one service
  • Charging for treatment that was never performed
  • Charging for expensive equipment when cheaper equipment was purchased
  • Charging for services that are actually free

Qui Tam Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you currently work for a company that you believe is defrauding it’s employees, customers, and/or government, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The qui tam lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are specifically focused on earning significant compensation for whistelblowers who aim to end their associates illegal and potentially harmful business practices.

You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia. Let the Mininno Law Office team work hard to earn you the full an fair compensation you deserve.

The “Dead Doctor” Scam: How Medicare and Medicaid Lost $70 Million In Fraudulent Claims

Most people envision Medicare or Medicaid fraud as a pharmacist billing for name brand prescriptions while dispersing the generic version, or a doctor inflating the cost of his services to bring in a few extra bucks.

Unfortunately, another type of Medicare and Medicaid fraud exists—and it’s one that took the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 7 years to put a stop to.

A subcommittee report issued by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Investigations Subcommittee on Tuesday revealed CMS has paid out more than $70 million between 2000 and 2007 for durable medical equipment that used the personal identification number of a deceased physician.

In response to the discovery, CMS deputy administrator, Herb Kuhn, assured government officials that the agency is working on a new system to stop fraudulent billing from “dead doctors”.  Apparently, the proposed system will require doctors to use a new National Provider Identifier, which will automatically cross check death records from the Social Security Administration database.

In addition, Kuhn told Subcommittee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that while the stolen funds have yet to be recovered, the agency plans to withhold future bonuses for companies found to be involved in the scam.

Withhold future bonuses?

I would hope that CMS would conduct an audit and prosecute every single company that participated in the dead doctor scam.  Patients are denied funding every day under Medicare and Medicaid because of budget constraints.  These scammers essentially stole from sick people who could have used that money to buy medicine, etc.

In addition, CMS should receive a complete administration overhaul for waiting so long to address this problem.  A few sources suggest that CMS may have known of the dead doctor scam as early as 2001—which is completely unacceptable in my opinion.

I think subcommittee ranking member Norm Colman (R-Minn) sums up the dead doctor scam the best: “We live in a high tech world…Surely we should have the capacity to figure out if doctors are dead.”

I totally agree.

Related Information:

New Jersey Whistleblower Attorneys


On March 18, 2007, CVS agreed to pay $36.7 million as a result of allegations that the company improperly switched patients from the tablet version of the prescription drug Zantak to a more expensive version in order to increase Medicaid reimbursement. The fraud was brought to light by a Bernard Listiza, a pharmacist in Washington, DC. Following extensive negotiations between the US Attorney”s Office and CVS, CVS agreed to pay $36.7 million for defrauding the government. The United States” share of the settlement was approximately $21.1 million, with 23 states and the District of Columbia sharing $15.6 million. More importantly, the pharmacist, Mr. Listiza, received $4,309,330.74 as his share of the settlement.

For further information on whistleblower lawsuits, click on the following links:

Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblower Lawsuits For 2005 Total $1.1 Billion in Settlements

The Federal Government issued a report stating that in 2005 alone, whistleblower lawsuits resulted in a recovery of 1.1 billion dollars to the United States Government. The actual whistleblowers that brought these claims to light were awarded $166 million dollars for their involvement.

One of the largest cases from 2005 involved a whistleblower that discovered Medicare had made $21.7 billion in improper payments to doctors, hospitals and insurers in 2004. After the government recouped the money, the whistleblower was awarded over a billion dollars in compensation.

Similarly, in March 2005, a whistleblower that had previously worked for defense contractor Northorp, was awarded $12.4 million after the company settled their $1.33 million lawsuit for overcharges to the Pentagon for massive fraud and over-billing.

For further information on whistleblower lawsuits, click on the following link:

NJ Employment Lawyer: Whistleblower Retaliation and Lawsuit Information