Nursing homes are meant to provide the care and support that the elderly need. However, in some nursing homes, this simply doesn’t seem to happen on a consistent basis. One chain that has had several lawsuits filed, including one of the largest failure of care settlements, is Extendicare Health Services.
A Canadian based chain, Extendicare is also one of the largest providers in the United States, with 251 centers for senior care throughout the country. While their core values state that to them, success is providing quality services, the sheer number of lawsuits filed against the company seems to show otherwise.
In order to understand the seriousness of the lawsuits filed against Extendicare Health Services, it helps to have a better understanding of neglect. Nursing home neglect occurs when a facility does not meet the needs of the residents by providing proper care and attention. Failing to provide this care can lead to a variety of illnesses, injuries, and major health concerns, with many being serious enough to cause permanent harm or death. In many Extendicare facilities, this has obviously become a major concern. The following are just a few of the lawsuits that have been filed against the provider.
The United States government filed the most significant lawsuit against Extendicare Health. The case alleged that the provider had provided fraudulent billing for Medicaid and Medicare payments for care that was labeled as “substandard” from a facility in Ohio and 32 others throughout the country. Included in the allegations of substandard care were a number of violations, such as:
All of these allegations violate the federal regulations and laws that are in place to ensure these facilities provide the care that those who need it require when they move into the nursing homes.
These allegations led to Extendicare being accused of fraud against the federal government. As they receive payments for services provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients, failing to provide adequate care for these payments is considered fraud, and in this case, the Ohio Attorney General explained that the Extendicare services “were so deficient that they were effectively worthless.”
The nursing home chain agreed to a $38 million dollar settlement in the case, making it the largest of its kind among national chains. While Extendicare did agree to the settlement, they did not admit to any wrongdoing. The president and chief executive of the chain, Tim Lukenda, made a statement that Extendicare “was pleased to finally put this matter behind us. We have already invested substantial resources to enhance our existing compliance program over the past several years.”
In addition to the settlement, the chain must also follow a Department of Health and Human Services chain wide compliance agreement for a period of five years, which includes making significant changes and retaining an independent monitor.
This lawsuit is not the only one that has been filed against Extendicare Health Services, and between 2009 and 2012, they had 43 civil lawsuits filed just in Kentucky, including five wrongful death claims. The company left that state after they were denied a corporate bailout. Additionally, the provider also left Florida and Texas in previous years, all soon after million dollar settlements were awarded in similar cases.
Negligence against the elder members of our society is not acceptable, and the cases against Extendicare demonstrate that. There is no word yet whether the company continues to receive additional violations.