Federal investigators have discovered that a nursing home doctor who treated many Illinois nursing home residents was using referrals to gain kickbacks and monetary bribes, endangering the safety and well-being of those under his care. These investigators, along with The Chicago Tribune, uncovered that thousands of dollars were moving between physicians, nursing home owners and hospital administrators, all the while nursing homes focused on keeping populations up and nursing home beds full.
This corruption led to the public paying millions of dollars in Medicaid and Medicare bills while a select few profited. Federal prosecutors found that the doctor at the center of the controversy was guilty of accepting more than $500,000 in kickbacks for referring residents to specific long-term care facilities. The doctor is now serving a six-year sentence in prison.
The operation revolved around Rock Creek Center which is located in Lemont, Illinois, however the hospital was never charged. The investigation also found that Methodist Hospital and Loretto Hospital were paying the doctor to bring patients into the Chicago facilities. Along with these hospitals, the article also mentions the involvement of Illinois nursing home owners Floyd Schlossberg and the Esformes family. Schlossberg owns the Alden group of nursing homes, including Alden Wentworth, Alden Princeton and Alden Northmoor. According to the IDPH website, the Esformes family has ownership in nursing homes such as Burnham Healthcare and Crestwood Care. The article alleges that while serving as the medical director at Burnham Healthcare, the doctor was aware of false charting by other physicians. Negligent behavior such as this can be extremely harmful to residents and can lead them to suffer serious injuries or medical conditions without receiving the proper care or treatment.
Additionally, the article reports that the nursing homes actively recruited psychiatric patients to fill beds in order for the nursing homes to receive federal money. These greedy acts of filling beds and unneccessarily moving residents to psychiatric facilities were harmful to vulnerable nursing home residents because they were not receiving the proper care for their conditions. To read the Tribune’s full report on the Chicago nursing home scheme, please click the link.