Pennsylvania Nursing Home Owner and Administrators Charged with Falsifying Staffing Records: Federal Trial Begins:
Years of Medicaid and Medicare fraud has been alleged at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness and Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness, two Pennsylvania facilities that repeatedly have been cited for violations amounting to nursing home malpractice.
The criminal trial has begun for a co-owner of two Pennsylvania nursing homes and several of his former administrators who were indicted last year for multiple charges of nursing home malpractice related to federal fraud, says a McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article.
Sam Halper, co-owner of Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness and Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness, was charged last year by then-Pennsylvania Attorney General (now Governor) Josh Shapiro on multiple counts of nursing home malpractice, including conspiracy, fraud, falsification of records related to health care matters, and falsification of records in a federal investigation. Charged alongside Halper are the following now-dismissed administrators: the Brighton director of nursing, the Brighton director of social services, the Mt. Lebanon administrator, and two corporate managers.
Harper allegedly masterminded a multifaceted scheme of fraud and record falsification at both facilities to reduce costs and boost revenue. Involved in the plan were the following alleged nursing home malpractice schemes:
- At Brighton: Staffing Falsification—Despite knowing that it would produce negative health consequences for residents, Halper insisted that Brighton staffing levels be kept low to trim costs. This scheme involved keeping one false, and one accurate, record of staffing levels. Documents for federally mandated inspections were also falsified.
The consequences of understaffing, an all-too-common sort of nursing home malpractice, include the following:
- an increase in nursing home falls and injuries
- more frequent and more severe bedsores
- dangerous medication errors
- increased potential for accidental resident death, necessitating the involvement of a wrongful death
- At Mt. Lebanon: Time Sheet Falsification—By having workers clock in and receive payment for shifts they did not work, this nursing home malpractice scheme allegedly attempted to make the home appear to meet Medicare and Medicaid staffing requirements. Additionally, care logs were allegedly falsified to show facility managers giving direct patient care that never occurred. Reportedly those Mt. Lebanon employees who participated in this scheme were compensated with bonuses.
- Patient Treatment/Medical Record Falsification—A third criminal plot named in the indictment involved the nursing home malpractice scheme of attempting to gain a larger federal reimbursement than was owed to the nursing homes. This was allegedly achieved by amplifying patient files with false ailments.
Both Brighton and Mt. Lebanon have been previously beleaguered with nursing home malpractice issues.
Opening arguments for the trial began in mid-November. According to the McKnight’s article, the trial could potentially go on for weeks.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Fraud, Understaffing, Abuse, and Neglect
Nursing Home Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorney Brian P. Murphy is dedicated to protecting Philadelphia/PA and NJ nursing home residents from neglect and abuse within the homes where they live. Your loved one living in a Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home should expect their facility to meet legally required health and safety standards, including upholding staffing requirements and ensuring that negligent and dangerous practices like falsifying records do not occur. An experienced nursing home malpractice and wrongful death attorney, Brian Murphy takes on Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and New Jersey nursing homes for egregious acts of elder abuse, especially any incidence of nursing home malpractice that causes wrongful death. Attorney Brian Murphy is ready to discuss your legal options. If you or your loved one needs to contact a nursing home malpractice and wrongful death attorney, call Brian Murphy today.