Agents to Investigate Allegations of Fraud and Neglect During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Says the Department of Justice
Two Pennsylvania nursing homes—one of which suffered the state’s highest nursing home COVID-19 tolls—were raided by federal and state investigators earlier this month, according to a report by NBC News.
Executing search warrants, investigators from the FBI, the state attorney general’s office, and other state agencies, raided both the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center on September 3. Both located near Pittsburgh in Beaver County, Brighton and Mt. Lebanon are owned by the same company. According to WPXI, an NBC affiliate, the joint investigation is part of a case involving the fraud units of the FBI and Medicaid, with the intention of investigating nursing home neglect and nursing home fraud during the coronavirus pandemic.
While specific details about the search warrant are unknown, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro tweeted to confirm that Brighton is part of a criminal investigation into nursing home neglect during the pandemic. Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania’s Western District, asked that persons with details regarding COVID-related nursing home fraud or abuse to report it to regional COVID task forces.
According to NBC News, hundreds of positive COVID cases among residents and staff members and dozens of deaths are attributable to Brighton. Afflicted with coronavirus cases since March, the facility reported zero cases for the first time in late July.
Both NBC News and WPXI reported a series of troubling issues presented by Brighton during the pandemic:
- Pennsylvania AG Shapiro stated in August that Brighton was under investigation following reports of questionable conditions and practices.
- Last month Pennsylvania auditor general Eugene DePasquale reported that the facility neglected to cooperate with an audit.
- Brighton engaged in experimental use of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, despite reports it hadn’t received approval from the state to administer the controversial treatment.
- During the pandemic so far, 332 of Brighton’s residents tested positive for the coronavirus, with 82 dying, making it home to the worst nursing home coronavirus outbreak in the state of any nursing home in Pennsylvania.
Holding Nursing Homes to the Highest Standard in Critical Times
In these uncertain times, it’s essential that your loved one’s Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home adheres to every safety precaution necessary for securing the health and well-being of its residents. Should you become concerned about the safety or quality of care of a Philadelphia/PA or NJ facility during the coronavirus pandemic, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.