Nursing Homes and Operator Admit to Fraud and Negligence in 1.6 Million Settlement

Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area have been following the news of a lawsuit settlement announced yesterday between five Missouri-based nursing homes, the operator of the homes, and federal prosecutors. The homes were charged with severe negligence, inadequate care, lack of staffing, and complaints of fraud.

The five nursing homes are all operated by Cathedral Rock of Texas, but are located in Missouri. According to the Star-Telegram, the nursing home company acted with severe nursing home neglect, by leaving nursing home residents’ skin sores untreated for so long that they became infested with maggots and amputations were necessary. The staff was also accused of not bathing, feeding, or providing the proper bathroom accommodations for the nursing home residents.

In the plea agreements, the company admitted that the homes were not equipped with enough staff to provide adequate nursing home care and that residents often did not receive required medication or proper wound care treatment. The company also admitted to doctoring the medical records to give the appearance that all patient medications had been administered, regardless of whether they had been given or not. The nursing home was also charged with cheating Medicare and Missouri Medicaid, by submitting fraudulent claims for services that weren’t provided or were of no value.

Cathedral Rock of Texas pleaded guilty to felony health care fraud, and C. Kent Harrington, a majority owner in Forth Worth, entered a plea agreement that will require him to pay, along with Cathedral Rock, $1 million in criminal fines. Harrington and the nursing home company must also pay $628,000 to resolve civil allegations of fraudulent claims made to Medicare and Missouri Medicaid, as well as implement programs that protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect in the future.

Although Cathedral Rock and Harrington will pay the government more than $1.6 million in civil and criminal penalties, they reportedly will not be otherwise penalized. Harrington and Cathedral Rock will not be excluded from receiving Medicare funding, but will instead be given a second chance to adhere to federal regulations—for a period of five years.

Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC support the rights for Maryland and Washington D.C. residents to live in a nursing home environment filled with quality care that improves and maintains the quality of their mental and physical health, and is free from abuse and that could result in injury or wrongful death. Contact us today.

Nursing Homes, Operator End Criminal, Civil Case, Houston Chronicle/AP, January 7, 2010
Fort Worth Nursing Home Company Agrees to Pay Criminal and Civil Penalties, Star-Telegram, Januray 7, 2010
St. Louis Nursing Homes Admit Fraud, to Pay $1.6 M, St. Louis Business Journal, January 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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