Daybreak Venture, a company providing skilled nurses, has settled charges brought by the Office of the Inspector General that they hired staff that had been excluded from employment with federal health programs, authorities announced.
The OIG’s Office of Audit Services did an investigation that turned up five excluded employees. During the federal investigation, Daybreak Venture revealed they had hired two additional unauthorized employees, according to the announcement.
In March 2014 the OIG initially contacted Daybreak regarding this matter and as a result the company performed it’s own audit covering about 5,000 staffers and entities that are presently or had been linked with Daybreak Venture.
The CEO of Daybreak, Michael A. Rich has assured the federal government that since the company discovered these transgressions, they have pledged additional resources and people to work in its Compliance Department to conduct ongoing re-verifications of staff members and entities to prevent those on OIG’s excluded list from employment. He went on to state that the company is fully committed to hiring only those people who are eligible.
Individuals can lose their eligibility to work with federal health programs like Medicaid and Medicare for a number of different reasons, but the most serious would be that they have a criminal record of being convicted of abuse or fraud. Providers are barred from hiring these individuals and then charging the government program for the services provided by them.
A Deputy Chief in one of the branches of the Office of the Inspector General says they’ve found that nursing homes tend to employ excluded individuals more than other health care providers. The updated guidelines provide a time period for employers to check the database online that lists all the excluded or unauthorized individuals, entities and organizations.
The settlement with Daybreak Venture took effect October 24, 2014.