Autumn Health Care of Zanesville and its owner, Steven Hitchens, both pleaded guilty to multiple charges in October following an investigation that revealed that the organization, including Hitchens and a number of facility managers had altered, forged, and, in some cases, destroyed records in order to maintain Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Among the charges against Hitchens and Autumn Health Care are:
providing unnecessary skilled therapy to Medicaid residents and billing Medicare Part B to pay for these unnecessary medical services;
falsely reporting unnecessary medical services in order to receive a higher reimbursement rate from the Ohio Department of Medicaid;
systematically falsifying resident records to defraud the Ohio Department of Health in an effort to make it appear that missed medical treatments were actually provided;
destroying a record outlining an incident involving an ill resident who was found in a snow bank after escaping the facility and forging a new record that falsely described the incident in order to avoid a citation from the Ohio Department of Health.
forging a registered nurse's signature on resident assessments that were electronically sent to the Ohio Department of Health to bypass a requirement that a registered nurse certify the accuracy of the assessment.