Thursday, June 17, 2010

Olive View-UCLA Hospital Staffers Allegedly Accepted Gifts From Nursing Home Employees - L.A. Times Article

Healthcare: Olive View-UCLA staffers allegedly accepted gifts from nursing home employees -

The Los Angeles Times reported on June 2, 2010 that Los Angeles County officials are investigating allegations that Olive View-UCLA Medical Center staff accepted gifts from nursing home employees in exchange for placing Medi-Cal and Medicare patients at their facilities, a possible violation of the county's code of ethics, as well as state and federal anti-kickback laws. Olive View is one of four hospitals that the Department of Health Services operates in Los Angeles County.

According to the article, three staff members at the county hospital in Sylmar — a clinical social worker and two medical case workers — have been accused of receiving gifts in exchange for referring Medi-Cal and Medicare patients to at least three local nursing homes.

Any allegations need to be investigated carefully and it cannot be assumed that the Los Angeles Times' sources are correct. Last month, the Los Angeles Times published several articles about Olive View that contained outrageous allegations about a beauty salon existing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Los Angeles County health officials investigated and in their written response they said they found "little about the allegations" to be correct.

In the last investigation, County health officials addressing an anonymous complaint to an accreditation agency said seven of 11 allegations made could not be substantiated. Officials found that hospital staff provided and received cosmetic services at Olive View, but said "the investigation has dispelled the claim that an organized cosmetic operation on the scale of a 'beauty salon' has existed in the NICU."

The new allegations will undoubtedly be investigated and they are serious allegations that could jeopardize the facility's Medi-Cal provider number and could result in significant audits and demands for overpayment if there is any truth to them. However, allegations are only allegations. Former or current employees could have their own agendas in reporting these "allegations" and a thorough investigation is needed before unsubstantiated allegations are assumed to have any validity.

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq. Any questions or comments should be directed to Tracy Green, a very experienced Los Angeles kickback attorney and Los Angeles hospital attorney at

The firm focuses its practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have a specialty in representing licensed health care providers and facilities in California and throughout the country. Their website is:


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