Raleigh, NC – A whistleblower lawsuit was unsealed Friday alleging the Meridian Senior Living Group has defrauded the United States and the State of North Carolina out of more than sixty million dollars. The suit claims Meridian and its related entities “intentionally submitted false claims for reimbursement to N.C. Medicaid for Personal Care Services provided to residents of Defendants’ Special Care Units.” Special Care Units are facilities, often within a nursing home, that are designated especially for residents with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, or other special needs disease or condition.
The whistleblower has evidence demonstrating Meridian’s adult care homes were not staffed with enough people to provide the personal care services required for the residents within the Special Care Units; that they routinely billed N.C. Medicaid the monthly maximum allowable without regard for the resident admission date, departure date, or diagnostic qualification date for the resident; and that the homes often overbilled by 1.5 to 1.75 hours of personal care services per day more than the actual staff time available for each resident.
Forty-five Meridian adult care homes throughout the state of North Carolina, together with Meridian’s management/billing entities and principal owner, are named as Defendants in the lawsuit.
“The most vulnerable of our senior population ‒ the Alzheimer and memory-impaired residents within the defendants’ special care units ‒ are the victims here,” says lead counsel Clifford “Kip” Marshall. On top of that, co-counsel Matthew Lee adds: “The taxpayers of North Carolina have been unknowingly footing the bill for this shameless fraud perpetrated upon their loved ones for too long. North Carolinians deserve better.”
The Meridian Senior Living Group is based in North Carolina. Through its management entities, Meridian Senior Living, LLC and Affinity Living Group, LLC, it is the largest operator of Adult Care Homes in North Carolina and one of the ten largest adult care providers in the country. Meridian owns and/or operates adult care facilities in twenty states.
Plaintiffs’ counsel are investigating potential claims of Medicaid fraud in other Meridian facilities throughout the country.
The name of the case is The United States of America, and The State of North Carolina, EX REL Stephen Gugenheim v. Meridian Senior Living, LLC, et. al, 5:16-cv-410-BO (United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina).
Marshall, Roth & Gregory, P.C.