One day after an FBI raid at the home of American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart, American Senior Communities released the company's first statement.
American Senior Communities’ most important priority is to continue to provide excellent care to our patients and residents. ASC has been contacted by the federal government in connection with an investigation into certain individuals or practices. ASC is fully cooperating with the government and is conducting its own review to ascertain the relevant facts. ASC is in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations and will continue to conduct its business in accordance with the highest standards of integrity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2010, American Senior Communities agreed to pay $376,432 to the State of Indiana and the federal government to settle allegations it submitted ineligible bills to Medicaid for work performed by employees excluded from the program.
The settlement was considered the largest the Indiana Attorney General’s office had received in a Medicaid excluded-provider case.
American Senior Communities denied any liability in the 2010 case, and agreed to implement policies and procedures to prevent hiring or contracting with any person or entity excluded from Medicaid.
A spokesperson for the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging told RTV6 it could not speculate on the FBI raid and its impact on residents living in various ASC facilities.
The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging said if families are concerned about care of a loved one, they can contact the Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
Health and Hospital was formed in 1951, and is a municipal corporation governed by an appointed seven-member Board of Trustees.
Health and Hospital also operates Eskenazi Health, one of the largest health care providers in Central Indiana, as well as the Marion County Public Health Department, the Eskenazi Health Foundation, and Indianapolis EMS.
MAP: Where Tuesday's raid took place