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

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.

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, according to three county employees who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

Staff members named by the employees as having taken gifts did not return inquiries from The Times, nor did their supervisor or the person investigating the complaint.

Michael Wilson, a spokesman for the county's Department of Health Services, confirmed that the department's audit and compliance division was investigating the complaint this week, but he declined to say whether the employees involved have been disciplined or transferred. He said department officials have not notified law enforcement agencies because the investigation is unfinished.

Read the full story here.

--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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