Former hospice worker claims she was fired for reporting false charting

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 7, 2013

A woman has filed suit against her former employer that she claims fired her for reporting the inaccurate records her bosses demanded of her.

A woman has filed suit against her former employer that she claims fired her for reporting the inaccurate records her bosses demanded of her.

Jacqueline Reavis alleges she worked for defendant Passages Hospice beginning on July 13, 2009, until her termination on Feb. 2, 2010. Reavis says she was fired after she reported the false charting that she was pressured to make.

In her complaint, Reavis explained that Passages would be compensated at different levels depending on the level of care required for different patients. The company’s owners and managers, therefore, demanded that she falsely chart her patients’ conditions and insisted that she alter her paperwork to show that patients required a higher level of care than they actually did, according to the complaint filed Sept. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court.

“Passages had a significant financial incentive to exaggerate a hospice patient’s level of care,” the suit states.

Reavis, though, refused to inaccurately chart the level of her patients’ care and reported the false charting to Seth Gilman, who is the owner and CEO of Passages, the complaint says.

Less than two days after her report, Reavis was called into a Passages’s office in southern Illinois where the company’s managers fired her in a “manner that was physically threatening, demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and extremely emotionally upsetting to plaintiff,” the suit states. “Defendant’s managers and supervisors summoned police officers to be present at the termination, caused plaintiff to partially undress, made threats and false statements about plaintiff, and forcibly grabbed from plaintiff’s hand one or more documents plaintiff had which contained information regarding the report of misconduct and/or fraudulent/illegal conduct engaged in by defendant.”

Passages’s employees told Reavis they were terminating her because of charting errors and failure to follow the chain of command. However, she contends she actually lost her job in retaliation for her reporting of perceived state violations.

Because of her job loss, Reavis suffered emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and emotional pain, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Reavis is seeking lost wages, compensatory damages of more than $100,000, punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just. She also seeks an order that she be reinstated to the same seniority status that she would have had if not for her termination.

Lee W. Barron of Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-1556.

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