Press Release: 2019-03-14
AG Healey Announces Seven Settlements Following Major Investigation into Nursing Home Facilities
BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today a series of settlements with seven different nursing homes to resolve allegations of systemic failures at their facilities that endangered nursing home residents.
The AG’s Office investigated reports of substandard care or regulatory violations at nursing homes based on complaints referred by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The AG’s Office found that these facilities had systemic issues that directly led to the death, injury or potential injury to nursing home residents.
“Every nursing home resident deserves to live in a safe environment, with dignity and access to high-quality care,” said AG Healey. “These settlements hold facilities accountable and will help restore the trust families need when making critical decisions about the care of their loved ones.”
“The Department of Public Health monitors the health and safety of residents in long-term care facilities throughout Massachusetts,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We will continue to investigate complaints of substandard care or violations to ensure that individuals residing in nursing homes are receiving high quality care.”
All of the below listed nursing home facilities have agreed to settlements with the AG’s Office. The recoveries obtained pursuant to these settlements will be split between a fund administered by DPH to improve the safety and quality of care provided in long-term care facilities and the state’s General Fund.
Oxford Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center of Haverhill
Oxford Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, owned by Athena Healthcare Systems, will pay $180,000 to resolve allegations that the facility failed to adequately train staff on how to treat residents with histories of substance use disorder or administer naloxone, and failed to have sufficient policies or procedures to treat residents with histories of substance use disorder. The AG’s Office further alleges that the facility did not have naloxone available onsite during at least one incident when a resident overdosed. This facility will pay for an independent compliance monitor, which will be responsible for overseeing a three-year compliance program at the facility, including implementing annual training programs, updating its policies and procedures, and conducting yearly audits, the results of which will be reported to the AG’s Office.
Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow
Jewish Nursing Home and its non-profit owners will pay $85,000 to resolve allegations that staff knowingly failed to install updated, federally-compliant bed side rails, which led to the death of a resident and serious injury to another. This facility will also implement a three-year compliance program, which will include updated policies and procedures, annual training programs, and yearly audits, the results of which will be reported to the AG’s Office.
Woodbriar Health Center of Wilmington and Braemoor Health Center of Brockton
Synergy Health Centers, owner of the Woodbriar Health Center, has settled allegations that a resident fell from a mechanical lift while being transferred by only one certified nurse aide, and that staff miscommunicated regarding the resident’s X-ray results, such that her physician did not learn of her serious injuries in a timely fashion. The resident died thereafter, and the fall, failures of communication, and delay in care were substantial contributing factors to her death.
Synergy, also the owner of the Braemoor Health Center, has also settled allegations that nursing home staff there failed to attempt to resuscitate a resident when he became non-responsive during feeding, and then failed to timely report the death to DPH. The AG’s Office also alleges that the facility failed to ensure its nursing staff had adequate resuscitative training.
Synergy will pay between $100,000 to $200,000 to resolve the AG’s allegations against both Woodbriar and Braemoor. Synergy, and the company’s two owners, Avi Lipschutz and Dov Newmark, have agreed not to participate in federal or state government health care programs in Massachusetts for the next seven years. Currently, Woodbriar Heath Center is in the process of being sold, and Braemoor Health Center is closed.
Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center of Westborough:
Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, owned by Salmon Health and Retirement, will pay $37,500 to resolve allegations that the facility failed to implement necessary interventions after a patient fell 19 times at the facility. The AG’s Office further alleged that, after the resident’s twentieth fall, the facility failed to contact her nurse practitioner or provide pain medication in response to repeated requests, and the patient ultimately died. This facility will also implement a three-year compliance program, which will include updated policies and procedures, annual training programs, and yearly audits, the results of which will be reported to the AG’s Office.
The Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Everett
The Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, operated by Personal Healthcare, LLC, will pay $40,000 to resolve allegations that it allowed a resident with a history of elopement to escape from the facility through multiple unlocked doors in a “secure” unit. The facility also failed to maintain medical records for two months for that resident. In addition to the settlement payment, this facility will implement a three-year compliance program, which will include updated policies and procedures, annual training programs, and yearly audits, the results of which will be reported to the AG’s Office.
The Wakefield Center, owned by Genesis Health Care, will pay $30,000 to resolve allegations that a nurse failed to transcribe a medication order for a resident due to inadequate training. This medication transcription error ultimately led to the death of a patient, who died from a blood clot caused by this failure. This facility will also implement a three-year compliance program, which will include updated policies and procedures, annual training programs, and yearly audits, the results of which will be reported to the AG’s Office.
Members of the public who are aware of similar practices by other nursing homes or health care providers should call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division at (617) 963-2360 or file a complaint through DPH’s website.
These matters were handled by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division, which is led by Division Chief Toby R. Unger. Assistant Attorneys General Kevin Lownds, Ian Marinoff, Jay McCormack, Ali Russo, and Anthony Vargas, Investigators Christine Baker, Erica Schlain, Mirlinda Sejdiu, April Waterhouse, and Ruth Zeltzer, and Victim Witness Advocate Amber Anderson participated in the investigation and negotiation of these settlements.