Consulate Healthcare is a corporation that focuses on senior healthcare services based out of Maitland, Florida. Consulate is the largest nursing home and assisted living facility provider in the state of Florida and the sixth largest in the country. In the past, there have been many Consulate lawsuits across the state for wrongful death, bedsores, dehydration and malnutrition, aspirational pneumonia, falls and many other instances abuse and neglect at Consulate nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These Consulate lawsuits expose why nursing home litigation is an important tool to protect against elder abuse and neglect.
Consulate Lawsuits under Chapter 400 and under the FCA
While there are a number of Consulate Lawsuits that have alleged elder abuse under Chapter 400 over the years, one lawsuit is worth focusing on. In Ruckh v. Consulate, the Federal Government, along with the state of Florida, sued Consulate Healthcare. The Government sued Consulate under the False Claims Act (FCA) alleging that Consulate “engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States“. The Government alleged that senior management figures at Consulate set target reimbursement rates for their Skilled Nursing Facilities. They allegedly did this by falsifying RUG scores of patients to increase medicare reimbursement. The Government also alleges that Consulate defrauded state medicaid, which is provided on a flat per diem rate, by failing to complete care plans and lying about their completion. The results of these alleged fraudulent actions resulted in poor care and understaffing. This leads to significant preventable injuries and deaths when aggregated across the 53 Skilled Nursing Facilities the Consulate owns in the state of Florida.
What do these Consulate Lawsuits say about enforcement?
The significant amount of Consulate lawsuits that have occurred over the years in Florida led to a significant outcry from the public. Sadly, this public outcry has not forced the Consulate nursing homes from closing indefinitely. In January, AHCA threatened shut down over 50 consulate homes, but in the end backed down. In fact, Consulate has been able to retain 55 of its 77 licenses in the state of Florida
What these Consulate lawsuits show is an inability by current government enforcement to penalize abusive and neglectful nursing homes. Instead, the best way to stop nursing home abuse is to sue a facility when it occurs. By making abuse and neglect expensive, large corporate homes such as Consulate will choose to hire more staff and prevent abuse and neglect to save money in the long run.
If you believe a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home or assisted living facility, call the trusted attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm for a free consultation today.« Previous PostNext Post »