D.C. Report Finds VMT Misused Millions
Paid to care for D.C. seniors, VMT gave Vivens $3.5 million
There is explosive new evidence of the ways that VMT and CEO Solanges Vivens have been putting profits over patients.
A report just released by the D.C. Inspector General (IG) finds that even as VMT wrongly withheld benefits from caregivers, it paid millions to CEO Solanges Vivens. The IG uncovered that from 2004 to 2008 VMT paid out $3.5 million to Vivens, its sole shareholder.
The IG identified a total of $2.7 million in District funds lost by VMT and recommended the city move to recoup the money from Vivens’ firm.
The Washington City Paper has picked up on the report and noted that, in 2008 alone, while VMT told the District it would be "driven into ruin" if it paid caregivers a higher wage, the company paid Vivens nearly $1.8 million. (City Paper story here.)
The report also says VMT misused $181,000 of D.C. funds to pay for union-busting attacks against D.C. caregivers, including those at J.B. Johnson nursing home. VMT runs J.B. Johnson for the District, which owns the facility.
The D.C. Committee on Aging and Community Affairs is holding a special hearing on Monday, October 17 at 2 p.m. about the many problems at VMT and J.B. Johnson. Some of the problems highlighted in the IG report include:
- VMT improperly used $1.8 million in District funds to pay fines imposed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The DOL fined VMT for withholding benefits from 483 workers at the Washington Center for Aging Services. (Read more about that VMT scandal here.)
- VMT failed to submit $2.8 million in Medicare claims when it managed the D.C.-owned Washington Center for Aging Services, resulting in a net loss of $400,000 for the District.
- In an effort to fix the Medicare billing problem at Washington Center, VMT hired a high-priced billing subcontractor without District approval and paid the firm $357,839 without proper authorization.
Given the scope and severity of the IG’s findings, the District may have grounds to invalidate VMT’s current lease at J.B. Johnson. That lease states that the “tenant shall...employ reputable business practices and standards,” and allows the city to revoke the lease if standards are violated.
Click here to read the full report from D.C.’s Inspector General.