Friday, February 10, 2017

Nursing Home will go to Great Lengths to Hide Abuse

Two former nursing home employees have revealed information1 that shows just how dangerous some nursing home facilities can be and how far companies will go to cover up misconduct. The employees worked as social workers at a facility in Illinois that claimed to care for up to 309 patients, including elderly and geriatric patients, as well as younger people with substance abuse problems, mental illness, or who were convicted felons.

According to the former employees, supervisors at the nursing home requested that they falsify medical records in order to try to cover up instances of abuse to patients. In many cases, if a nursing home patient has injuries from abuse or neglect, supervisors or owners may want to fabricate medical records to make it look like the injuries happened due to an accident and not mistreatment. In this case, the employees allege they were asked to do the following:

    -Make it look like a woman received face injuries and two black eyes from a fall when it appeared she had been assaulted;

-Ignoring one patient’s claims of rape;

-Pretending new accommodations could not be found for a patient who had repeatedly asked to be discharged.

When the social workers refused to lie on the records, they were fired and now are pursuing legal action against the nursing home.

The allegations of mistreatment were investigated by the Illinois Department of Health, which issued several citations and fines. This is far from the first time that the facility has had issues with the Health Department, as it has previously been cited for a variety of violations, including filthy conditions, inadequate care, and violence against patients. Police in the area received 16 reports of assault, battery, or criminal sexual assault in four years alone within the facility. In 2009, a man in a wheelchair was killed by another resident. One of the former employees called the atmosphere in the nursing home “dangerous.”

Ties to Florida and Criminal Behavior

While the above facility is in Illinois, the home used to be owned by nursing home magnate Morris Esformes, who runs numerous nursing homes in Florida and throughout the United States, including 30 around the Miami area. While Esformes and his son sold the Illinois facility to family members, his son, Philip Esformes has been arrested and charged with one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes in U.S. history.2

It is alleged that not only were patients at the nursing homes mistreated but also that Esformes was using patients as pawns in Medicaid fraud and kickback schemes worth $1 billion.

Allegations state that Philip Esformes and conspirators funneled about 14,000 people through their facilities in order to bill Medicaid and Medicare. Recruited patients included homeless people and individuals with substance addictions, who were offered narcotics such as OxyContin to stay there. Reports indicate these patients often did not receive any care that was billed for. It is alleged that Esformes was also falsifying documents to cover up mistreatment.

Tragically, facilities owned by Esformes have faced 20 lawsuits from families for the wrongful death of patients in the last four years. Some of these claims include:

-A man was attacked by another resident and then fell due to inadequate supervision, causing a fatal brain injury.

-A man who used a cane and walked slowly wandered away from a facility and drowned in a lake.

-A mentally ill resident escaped and was hit by a car.

-A man was beaten to death by his younger roommate who presumably had untreated mental illness.

These are only some of the horrifying allegations that came out of nursing homes in Florida owned by Philip Esformes and his father.

Call a Clearwater, FL Nursing Home Abuse Attorney to Discuss Your Rights

Similar examples of mistreatment have been known to occur in nursing home facilities throughout Florida, including the network of Brookdale Senior Living. If your loved one has been abused and injured, please call a nursing home abuse lawyer for help as soon as possible. Call the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765