Surprise nursing home inspections work for one reason: they are a surprise to management. Unfortunately, not all Florida nursing homes play by the rules. Sadly, many nursing home administrators and owners actually bribe health inspectors to get an inside tip when AHCA will show up. But those who break the rules eventually get caught, including disgraced AHCA employee Bertha Blanco.
South Florida Nursing Homes Buying Off Health Inspectors
The symbiosis between AHCA inspectors and their alleged inspection targets is apparent to most outsiders. As South Florida nursing home abuse lawyers, we have personally witnessed the friendship between inspectors and nursing home staff. Many inspectors got their professional start working inside facilities, so there are often longstanding bonds between the inspectors and the inspectees.
Bribery Happens and Justice is For Sale
Unfortunately, AHCA inspectors do not make a significant salary. Their job is difficult and they work long hours, traveling between South Florida facilities. Most nursing homes are profitable, especially those that enjoy good health inspection ratings. For this reason, nursing home owners have historically attempted to gain insight into ‘random’ inspections to better prepare their facilities. As usual, the main losers in this game are the vulnerable residents.
Jail Time for Bertha Blanco of Miami
Ms. Blanco, a 66 year old AHCA inspector that has been with the agency for 30+ years, was recently sentenced by US District Judge Ursula Ungaro in the Federal Courthouse of the Southern District of Florida. Ms. Blanco received a sentence of 57 months in prison and was ordered to repay more than $500,000.
The purchasers of information provided by Blanco included Philip Esformes, Isabel Lopez, Gustavo Mustelier, Gabriel Delgado, Guillermo Delgado, and Sila Luis.
Stopping Bribery and Fraud inside Florida Nursing Homes
We recognize the hard work of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which has collectively saved $12.5 billion by stopping Medicare scammers in the long term care industry. These well-intentioned men and women are fighting the battle to clean up South Florida’s nursing home industry and stop elder abuse at its root: corporate greed.
If you believe you know of Medicare fraud inside a Florida facility, contact our whistleblower lawyers today.« Previous PostNext Post »