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.Late yesterday, a statement released by Burkhart's high profile criminal defense lawyer, Larry Mackey, describes the government's investigation of his client and his company as a "cost review":
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.Interest in the investigation is peaked because of ASC's important role as a private sector partner in operating the Marion Co. Health & Hospital Corporation's 59 nursing homes scattered across the state. That partnership enables the nursing homes operated by ASC on HHC's behalf to receive significantly enhanced reimbursements from the government for Medicaid/Medicare services compared to the reimbursement rates allowed to other long-term care facilities. The nursing homes are owned and controlled for all practical purposes by ASC, but by creating a fiction HHC is the proprietor, the higher reimbursement rates apply because of HHC's status as a publicly-owned hospital for the poor. HHC officials have always maintained this legal arrangement is perfectly legal. In a statement issued yesterday, HHC insists neither it nor its employees are target or the subject of the investigation.