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American Senior Communities fires CEO

Posted at 6:10 PM, Sep 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 18:10:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- American Senior Communities has fired the company's CEO, James Burkart, following an FBI raid at his Carmel home on Tuesday. 

American Senior Communities released a statement Friday. 

 

As has been reported in the media, the federal government conducted searches earlier this week at the home and office of American Senior Communities’ CEO. The government has not commented on that investigation. 

As the result of ASC’s internal review, this investigation does not touch upon the operation of any nursing home serviced by ASC. However, ASC has terminated the employment of its CEO, James G. Burkhart, effective immediately. While this is a difficult situation, it will not affect ASC’s operations, including its employees, other healthcare providers, and, most importantly, its residents. 

American Senior Communities is launching an immediate search for an interim and permanent CEO who will embrace ASC’s core values of C.A.R.E. – Compassion, Attentiveness, Relationship, and Excellence – and promote and maintain the ASC culture of caring for others while demonstrating the highest level of integrity.  Meanwhile, the chief executive functions have been assumed by the American Senior Communities’ board of managers, each of whom has long-term experience in the healthcare business, and senior care in particular. 

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. SEE ORIGINAL STORY BELOW

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Agents with the FBI conducted a raid at the Carmel home of American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart Tuesday. 

American Senior Communities operates 94 nursing homes throughout Indiana and Kentucky, according to its website.

Sources tell Call 6 Investigates the FBI and other agencies are conducting an investigation into Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements and possible kickbacks.

James Burkhart

FBI spokesperson Wendy Osborne said the agency is investigating criminal activity in the area, but declined to say the target of the investigation.

RTV6 has seen FBI agents at the Burkhart’s home on Suffolk Lane in Carmel, as well as his American Senior Communities office on Gray Road.

American Senior Communities has not returned calls from RTV6, and Burkhart has not returned a call to his office and cellphone Tuesday.

Burkhart is being represented by Barnes & Thornburg attorney Larry Mackey, a former federal prosecutor best known for his involvement in the Timothy McVeigh case.

Through Mackey, Burkhart released an official statement Tuesday night:

Thorough oversight of health care costs in this nation is in every citizen's interests and ASC will be an active partner with the government in this investigation.  ASC cares for thousands of residents in scores of facilities across Indiana and has built a decade long record and reputation for excellence in caring for those most in need. We will keep our focus on our residents while we cooperate fully in this cost review.

Previously, Burkhart was a manager at Ernst & Young for six years, a service company that helps other companies run their business, according to Bloomberg Business. He has worked in the senior healthcare industry for more than 20 years.

RELATED | Who is James Burkhart, subject of FBI raid?

Burkhart is currently a board member with Brebeuf Jesuit school, Eskenazi Health Foundation, and is also the board chairman of the Indiana Health Care Association.

“The Indiana Health Care Association just learned of the investigation this morning,” said IHCA Public Affairs Director Kate Vaulter said in a statement to RTV6. “We will continue to gather information as it becomes available. Right now, our most important priority is the care of the Hoosiers in our 330 member centers across the state.”

Call 6 also confirmed that the raid is focused on multiple locations, and involves agents with the IRS and HHS investigators. 

The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment on the raid.

Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County owns 80 nursing homes and long term facilities throughout the state of Indiana. All of them contract with American Senior Communities for operations.

A spokesperson for Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC) is aware of the investigation of James G. Burkhart, CEO of American Senior Communities. American Senior Communities is one of the largest nursing home management companies in the state of Indiana. HHC has contracted with ASC to operate and manage nursing home facilities owned by HHC.

HHC is assured that HHC and its employees are not the target or subject of any investigation and that this investigation is not related to the care that any patient has received at any of HHC’s nursing homes. Moreover, this investigation will not impact the care that residents receive at any of HHC’s nursing homes.

HHC is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI to assist and cooperate. Because it is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. Any additional questions should be referred to the US Attorney’s office.

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Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported last week on the death of a veteran who spent four years at a Health and Hospital Corporation-owned nursing home in Seymour.

The man's family said his death was due to the neglect of the nursing home where he was living.