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The owners and operators of a nursing home and related nonprofit foundation agreed to pay $1.25 million to end a federal investigation into allegations they provided substandard care to residents.
The Hyperion Foundation and AltaCare Corp. were hit with a lawsuit alleging nursing home substandard care in a subpar facility in Mississippi called Oxford Health, Academy Health Center Inc.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the nursing home facility initiated a complaint about the level of care provided by the nursing home operators in 2010. The government then intervened in the nursing home whistleblower lawsuit in 2012. The government also alleged claims of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
According to the lawsuit, residents were subjected to nursing home substandard care, including lack of food and medication, failure to provide proper heating and cooling, as well as pest control. The lawsuit also alleged that the nursing home operators failed to hire adequate staff to clean the facility, in addition to providing care to the elderly residents.
The nursing home substandard care led to medical complications like dehydration, pressure ulcers, and falls, alleged the lawsuit. Further exacerbating the problem said the plaintiffs, the foundation operating the nursing home funneled federal funds from Medicare and Medicaid into their own pockets. This left the nursing home with precious few resources to provide the care their residents relied upon.
The Georgia-based Hyperion Foundation took over operations at the nursing home facility in 2005, but quickly fell behind on rent payments.
Additionally, according to the lawsuit, residents were provided substandard care under the Hyperion Foundation until they were removed from the facility in 2012.
Hyperion was evicted in 2008 for late rent payment, but entered bankruptcy proceedings, which stymied the process. Finally, in 2010, the nursing home facility that was renting the nursing home to Hyperion initiated the lawsuit over the nursing home substandard care.
“Residents of nursing homes are some of our most vulnerable citizens,” stated a federal attorney regarding the matter. “Nursing home operators who bill Medicare and Medicaid for providing their residents with grossly deficient services will be held accountable.”
Nursing Home Substandard Care
Unfortunately, the elderly and disabled in nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable to abuses and substandard care. Recently, the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform compiled reports of nursing home substandard care from across the country, including;
- Untreated bedsores
- Inadequate medical care
- Preventable accidents
- Inadequate sanitation and hygiene
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often supported by federal funds through Medicare and Medicaid. The government regulates the standard of care to be provided at nursing homes; however, this care sometimes falls short.
Facilities often complain that they have trouble attracting and retaining qualified staff and note the lack of skilled workers being trained.
If you’re concerned that a nursing home is providing substandard care, contact a McDonald Worley attorney to help protect the legal rights. The case review is free.