Dr. Amanda Lund has filed a lawsuit against Midwest Post Acute Health Care, alleging she was fired after blowing the whistle on cost-cutting practices that put patients at risk.
Dr. Lund joined Midwest Post Acute Health Care as its medical director in 2017 and was responsible for creating a new palliative care program. She also had to provide Medicare oversight because the company hadn’t hired a compliance officer.
In September 2017, Lund reported fraudulent billing practices that amounted to the organization double dipping Medicare payments for its social workers.
“Dr. Lund knew that these practices amounted to Medicare fraud, which she refused to participate in,” the lawsuit says. “She swiftly informed Mr. Shaw and Mr. Martinez of the problems with the billing practices and encouraged them to make changes to bring MPAC into compliance.”
The practices allegedly went on for three more months. She discovered more violations at Lutheran Home, where MPAC was allowing nurses to take calls without support. She said this was done to prioritize profit over patients.
Lund claims that the retaliation began in 2018 as her workload doubled and MPAC wouldn’t provide her with additional staff.
When Lund found out she was pregnant in March 2018, MPAC didn’t change her schedule or duties and instead made her work environment more difficult. She “believed MPAC was attempting to force her to quit to avoid having to accommodate her pregnancy.”
“My life got crazy,” Lund said. “It was stressful … I was deeply concerned about the pregnancy and my health, but even more than that, the patients and not wanting any mistakes to happen and really feeling this need to be highly vigilant in terms of reviewing everything on my own.”
In October 2018, Lund told her superiors that she was being denied the reasonable accommodations suggested by her own medical provider and was dealing with a hostile work environment. A couple weeks later, she was told she was being terminated.
The lawsuit accuses MPAC of discriminating against her for her gender and pregnancy and for violating the Illinois Whistleblower Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lund hopes that her lawsuit can shed light on how those laws are enforced to better protect pregnant women in the workforce