PHCA Responds to Introduction of State False Claims Act
HARRISBURG – Zach Shamberg, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), issued the following statement in response to today’s press conference announcing proposed legislation to enact a state False Claims Act in Pennsylvania:
“It is unfortunate that we are once again faced with what seems to be an attack on Pennsylvania’s nursing home providers—this time, in the form of a state False Claims Act. Not only would this legislation create a new cause of action against hardworking long-term care providers, it would create additional bureaucracy and red tape by duplicating a cause of action which already exists at the federal level for all state programs receiving federal funding.
“We are particularly concerned a state False Claims Act will lead to a dramatic increase in frivolous claims and further stigmatize long-term care providers as well as direct caregivers in an already difficult legal and regulatory environment, requiring providers to focus their limited resources on legal battles instead of investing in quality care.
“Furthermore, a significant portion of any taxpayer dollars recovered from these suits will end up in the hands of whistleblowers and trial lawyers – and not reinvested in patient care for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable population.
“PHCA strongly supports efforts to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the state Medicaid system and to continue to improve the quality of long-term care; therefore, we cannot – in good faith – support any action that would undoubtedly place increased costs and an undue burden on the shoulders of a critical segment of the health care continuum already struggling to provide more specialized, advanced care with a reimbursement rate far below the true cost of that care.”
The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) is a statewide advocacy organization for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents and their providers of care. Our members include for-profit and nonprofit skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living residences. Together, we represent more than 500 long-term care and senior service providers and more than 50,000 elderly and disabled individuals. For more information, please call (717) 221-1800 or visit www.phca.org.