Mahany Law Launches Investigation of Genesis HealthCare Westfield Center
Less than three years ago, Genesis Healthcare agreed to pay the Justice Department a record $53 million to settle charges that the company committed Medicare fraud by providing “medically unnecessary therapy and hospice services and grossly substandard nursing care”.
The grossly substandard nursing care relates to care provided by Skilled LLC, a subsidiary of Genesis Healthcare. Prosecutors said that the company violated certain essential requirements that nursing homes are required to meet and failed to provide sufficient nurse staffing to meet residents’ needs. At the time of the settlement a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said, “It’s disturbing when health care companies bill Medicare and Medicaid to care for vulnerable patients, but provide grossly substandard care and medically unnecessary services just to boost company profits.”
When the case was settled in 2017, the company owned and operated approximately 500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities spread across 34 states.
We looked into Genesis HealthCare back then. See our 2017 Genesis Healthcare fraud post here. That same year the Boston Globe discussed a Massachusetts Genesis nursing home where the “linen room reeked of urine. [And] some residents’ rooms were so grimy, a state inspector’s shoe came off when it stuck to the floor
How much has the company learned since then? Unfortunately, we don’t think very much.
Recently we were contacted by family members of a patient of the Genesis Healthcare Westfield Center (NJ) facility that developed bedsores last year. Anyone who regularly reads this site knows that we think bedsores are 100% preventable. There is simply no excuse for bedsores (pressure ulcers).
How bad were these bedsores? We don’t know but we believe the family member was credible and confirmed the resident didn’t have bedsores when moving into the nursing home for short term rehab. (See our post, Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores?)
We are always careful when beginning an investigation. We never want to get fooled by a disgruntled employee seeking revenge. In addition to carefully screening leads, we also check Medicare’s free Nursing Home Compare tool that publishes the government’s rating and inspection reports. The results for Westfield Center weren’t good.
Medicare’s overall rating was “Below Average” with its health inspection rating noted as “Much Below Average.” That’s not a place I want to send Mom.
According to a recent inspection report (June2019), Westfield Center was rated deficient for failure to “ensure services provided by the nursing facility meet professional standards o quality”. Evidently the facility was singled out in 2017 for providing grossly substandard care and now again in 2019 for almost the same thing.
In fact, the 2019 inspection indicated that the subpar care was centered around wound care generally and a patient’s bedsores specifically. Is this the same patient? We don’t think so in that our information is a bit fresher.
During that same inspection, Medicare found that based on a random sample, Westfield Center’s medication error rate was a whopping 8.33%. Once again, no excuse. Medication errors are a leading cause of deaths in nursing homes and hospitals.
Finally, that same inspection reviewed several deficiencies in the facility’s infection prevention and control program including allowed catheter bags to be put on the filthy germ laden floor.
Separate from the health ratings, Westgate Center received a “Below Average” grade from Medicare on staffing. We believe that insufficient staff and poor training account for most injuries at nursing homes. Whenever we see a staffing problem we worry for the health and safety of the residents.
It's not just Medicare that is investigating. Last year we reported a police investigation into a resident's injuries there. [Use the search feature of our site for more informattion.]
Recent Lawsuits Against Genesis Healthcare for Poor Patient Care
Genesis has been sued many times for patient neglect. Here are a few of the highlights:
In California, jurors awarded a resident’s family $800,000. The nursing home’s medical care was so bad that he had maggot infestations on various parts of his body. The maggots blocked his breathing tube and ultimately caused his death. We can’t think of a worse way to die.
A Kentucky jury awarded a 92 year old man’s family $42.75 million. The court found that within days of his arrival, the man developed bedsores and other infections. He died. The jury was so enraged at the man’s poor care that $40 million of that award represents punitive damages.
(Punitive damages are capped in New Jersey at the greater of 5 times actual damages or $350,000.)
The company settled a case in Pennsylvania for $800,000 after a nursing home resident developed pressure ulcers and sepsis. He died as well.
Resident of Westfield Center (or Any Other Genesis Healthcare Facility)?
If you or a family member was injured, abused or neglected at Westfield Center in Westfield, New Jersey or any other Genesis Healthcare facility, contact us right away. Patients or their families typically only have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries in the Garden State. (The time period in other states varies.)
Staffing deficiencies are a concern with many Genesis facilities throughout the United States. We are very concerned that despite a $53 million fine they still have major quality of care issues.
If you or a loved one have significant injuries, we can help. Our nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers are ready to fight for you. To learn more, contact us online, by email [hidden email] or by phone 833-201-1555.
Are You an Employee of Genesis Healthcare?
We got our start in representing whistleblowers. Their actions helped the federal government recover $3 billion in 2019. Most of that was from healthcare fraudsters. Not only do whistleblowers save billions for taxpayers, they also help protect patients, especially in substandard care cases.
Need another reason? Employee whistleblowers can earn large cash rewards. (Our whistleblower clients have earned over $100,000,000.00 in rewards.) Ready to learn more? Our contact information appears above. All inquiries are kept strictly confidential and are protected by the attorney – client privilege.