Brookdale Senior Living Sued by Department of Health and Human Services
Brookdale Senior Living has been sued by the Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS is alleging that Brookdale submitted false staffing data for their nursing homes to the government. HHS is also alleging that they did not properly handle discharges of residents.
The New York Times has additional coverage of Brookdale and other senior nursing facilities, in regards to the claims Brookdale provided false information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to boost the companies ratings.
CMS Five-Star Rating System Abuse
Ratings for healthcare facilities are maintained by the CMS in a five-star quality rating system. The government attorneys are alleging Brookdale failed to notify the government, patients, or patient families of transfers or discharges. In a press release, the U.S. Attorney Xavier Barcerra said:
“We are holding Brookdale accountable for artificially increasing its profits by cutting corners when transferring or discharging its patients. It lured individuals to its facilities through false promises about providing the highest quality care.”
Additionally, the government is charging Brookdale with inflating nursing staffing figures, in order to inflate the average amount of care a patient would receive at their facilities. The New York Times notes in their article:
“in October 2017, Brookdale was operating with a skeleton crew, according to six current and former employees and court documents filed in a lawsuit brought by Ms. Johnson.”
“Nurses spent an average of less than 30 minutes a day per patient. Brookdale, however, told Medicare that each resident received an average of 75 minutes of daily care. The home arrived at that number by including nurses who were stationed at Brookdale’s corporate headquarters in Tennessee, some 200 miles away.”
The New York Times notes that had Brookdale not used the inflated figures, the facility would have likely lost one or two stars.
CMS created the five-star system after private equity companies began purchasing and managing elderly care facilities at increasing rates, and concerns existed that quality of care might be compromised. The system uses health inspections, staffing reports, and clinical and physical measurements of the facility residents to determine a star rating. Ratings are from one star to five stars.
Brookdale Lawsuit Lawyers
Schneider Wallace represents those affected by elder abuse, and has an active lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living in California. The Plaintiffs in the California class action allege Brookdale violates the ADA and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by discriminating against persons with disabilities in many ways. Brookdale has failed to provide accessible living quarters and facilities to its residents with mobility and/or visual disabilities, has restricted the number of wheelchair users who can participate in weekly outings, and has failed to provide sufficient staff to care for persons with cognitive, mobility and/or other disabilities.
If you or a member of your family has lived in a Brookdale facility in California and would like to speak to one of our attorney’s regarding your experience, please call 855-950-1036 today.
Senior Abuse Lawyers
Schedule an appointment with our legal team if you have any questions about elder abuse. Schneider Wallace has offices in California, Texas, North Carolina and Puerto Rico and litigates in jurisdictions throughout the country in state and federal administrative agencies and courts.