MARIETTA, Ga., July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Bracker & Marcus LLC announced today a $150,000 False Claims Act settlement with Comfort Community Center, LLC, resolving allegations filed by their client, whistleblower Shay Engram. Ms. Engram served as the Center's Program Director in 2013.
Comfort Community Center is a for-profit provider of services to adults with behavioral and developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, and traumatic brain injuries. Once they age out of the educational system, developmentally disabled adults often require further support. "Adult Day Care" facilities like Comfort Community Center are paid by Medicaid to provide training programs for these individuals, each of whom receives an Individual Support Plan specific to their needs. Certain clients with severe disabilities require one-on-one or two-on-one support. To fund this level of care, Medicaid pays a higher "Exceptional Rate."
In her suit, Ms. Engram alleged that when she started at Comfort Community Center, there was an overall lack of adequate staffing so that even standard 10-to-1 ratios were not being followed. She further alleged that Exceptional Rate clients were being shuffled into groups and ISPs were not being maintained or followed.
After reporting her concerns internally and to the state, Ms. Engram retained Bracker & Marcus LLC to file a qui tam lawsuit.
"I truly appreciate all of the noble caregivers and energetic experts that came forward to contribute to this case to support the most vulnerable (Developmentally Disabled) population," stated Ms. Engram, adding that "it is always right, to do the right thing!"
"This case helps protect some of our most fragile citizens. At great personal cost, Ms. Engram brought this to the attention of the government and was able to ensure that clients who need one-on-one attention receive what the taxpayers are paying for," said attorney Julie Bracker. "Cases like this are important regardless of the amount of money at issue."
The case is captioned United States ex rel. Engram v. Comfort Community Center, LLC et al., 1:15-cv-3737 (N.D. Ga.).
The False Claims Act lawyers at Bracker & Marcus LLC have a combined 46 years of experience representing whistleblowers nationwide. Since 2015, they have recovered more than $250 million for United States taxpayers. For more information about filing a False Claims Act case, visit www.FCAcounsel.com or call (770) 988-5035.
SOURCE Bracker & Marcus LLC