Extendicare Health Services, Inc. recently agreed to pay $38 million in order to settle claims that the company provided poor care to nursing home residents in eight states. According to the United States Justice Department, a federal investigation revealed that the company provided unacceptable and substandard care to the residents of at least 33 facilities between 2007 and 2013. The group of skilled nursing facilities is accused of failing to employ a sufficient number of staff, ignoring safety protocols, and a number of other violations. In many cases, the deficient care resulted in preventable injuries that included pressure sores, fall injuries, broken bones, infections, malnutrition, and dehydration. You can read more in this news story from Cincinnati-based WCPO.
The federal investigation apparently began as part of a broader program designed to comprehensively evaluate the care provided to vulnerable populations by the largest nursing home providers in the nation. In addition, Extendicare Health Services reportedly came under review after two whistleblower complaints accused the company of committing Medicaid and Medicare fraud. Although the federal government will receive the bulk of the settlement funds, the nursing home company will apparently reimburse Kentucky more than $1.2 million for the substandard patient care that was billed to its Medicaid program. Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin will also receive financial compensation as a result of the largest settlement of its kind.