Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers have previously shared information on the out-of-state facility which is now facing federal Medicare and Medicaid fraud charges. The facility is accused of billing federal coffers for more than $16 million in services that government officials have deemed “worthless.” In an unprecedented move, federal officials filed the fraud suit after investigators uncovered care at the facility that they considered grossly deficient. If found guilty of the fraud, the company would face stiff financial penalties. For one thing, each individual count of fraud comes a fine totaling anywhere from $5,500 to $11,000. In addition, the company would be required to repay Medicare and Medicaid three times the amount of the government’s loss. This tripling of damages is intended to act a penalty to discourage facilities from assuming that there is nothing to risk from billing more than legally allowed.
These federal charge are not the first legal challenges faced by these assisted-living operators. This week NKY News reported that the negligent nursing home operators have settled at least three other cases in the past after wrongful death lawsuits were filed against the parent company which owns the facility. Wrongful death lawsuits are claims brought by surviving family members alleging that negligent or abusive care was at least partially at fault for the death of their loved one.
The most recent settlement involved the care provided to an 88-year old resident of one of the facilities owned by the nursing home conglomerate. The woman had a history of falls and was suffering from dementia. The complaint filed in the case explained that the woman experienced several nursing home falls before eventually breaking her hip. She was sent to a nearby hospital after the fracture, and she died at the medical facility from complications shortly thereafter.
The federal lawsuit stemming from systematic nursing home neglect is a testimony to the unfortunate trend for instances of mistreatment to occur repeatedly in the same nursing homes or groups of facilities run by the same nursing home ownership conglomerates. This is the case because accidents that often lead to lawsuits usually arise not as the product of fluke occurrences but as inevitable consequences of cut corners and inadequate safety protocols.
Far too many nursing homes seek to maximize their profits at the expense of providing the best care possible for the residents who count on them. For example, many of these for-profit institutions cut back on staff members, meaning that at any given time there are fewer nurses and nurses’ assistants in the halls of these homes checking on residents and attending to their needs. This means that many vulnerable residents-particularly ones with mental illnesses or prone to falls-are frequently left alone and improperly monitored. Lack of oversight then increases the odds significantly that residents will be injured in a fall, develop pressure sores, or have other care needs go unfulfilled.
If you or someone you know may have suffered injury because of inadequate care provided by nursing homes, please consider contacting our Illinois nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn how we may be able to help.
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