$46M FCA Settlement with Skilled Nursing Management Chain Paksn Inc.

The United States Department of Justice entered into a Consent Judgment with several defendants for $46,000,000 after Garcia & Artigliere lawyers Stephen M. Garcia and Matthew M. Coman brought claims against those defendants for violations of the False Claims Act. The $46,000,000 settlement award from Paksn Inc., a skilled nursing management company based in California, as well as its owners and six nursing facilities was approved by the United States District Court on Monday, November 13, 2023. The case was made under the False Claims Act and focused on a kickback scheme.

From Law360:

“In executing this kickback scheme, defendants sought to and did contract with physicians with large patient bases and active practices at local acute care hospitals because those doctors were in a position to refer patients to the SNF defendants and agreed to do so in return for contractual stipends,” the government said in the complaint.

Thekkek and Paksn directed and controlled the scheme, explicitly targeting physicians who inked a promise to refer a significant number of patients to the facilities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Doctors were paid for the number of patients recommended, and if they didn’t refer enough patients, they were cut from the scheme.

Stephen Garcia commented, “This was a truly outrageous level of fraud against the U.S. government, and ultimately it hurt the very people who these facilities purport to protect. It’s sickening to me, to my partner Matthew, and to all of us that these profiteers continue to game the system for their own personal gain. We will always fight for the rights of nursing home patients and residents, and it is our honor to help folks get justice.”