A former nursing home executive was indicted this week in connection with alleged healthcare fraud totaling more than $407 million. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin returned an indictment yesterday charging Kevin Breslin, 56, of Hoboken, New Jersey, with a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid in connection with the operation of nursing homes and assisted living centers in Wisconsin. Mr. Breslin was a former top executive at Atrium Health and Senior Living.
The alleged scheme involved inflating the cost of services and supplies and retaining overpayments from taxpayer dollars. From January 2015 through September 2018, Atrium billed Medicare for over $189,000,000 and received over $49,000,000, and they billed Medicaid for over $218,000,000 and received more than $93,000,000. However, the indictment alleges that the majority of those funds never went to providing care for residents of Atrium Facilities. The government believes that Atrium took these large sums of money, but failed to follow quality of care standards for nursing homes, provided inadequate staffing and supplies, and diverted funds from their Wisconsin nursing home facilities to guaranteed payments to investors to finance the construction of new nursing homes in New Jersey. Breslin faces penalties of up to 20 years in prison in connection with these charges.
While this is an egregious example of bad behavior by a nursing home owner, a recent study has shown that roughly half of the nursing homes in the United States failed to meet CMS recommendations for staffing requirements. Additionally, the American Health Care Association, a nursing homes trade group, announced in a news release in the summer of 2022 that 94% of the country’s facilities missed minimum staffing guidelines. Unfortunately, when a nursing home does not have sufficient staff, its residents suffer the consequences. When facilities are short-staffed, the quality and frequency of caretaking is diminished, which leads to increased resident mortality. Doctor’s appointments are missed, call buttons go unanswered, diapers are not changed, showers are not given, and wounds are not cleaned. The sorts of omissions by nursing staff result in unnecessary dangers and risks to nursing home residents.
Unsurprisingly, staffing issues are a significant factor in many nursing home abuse cases our firm handles. Suthers & Harper, which practices throughout the States of Georgia and South Carolina, regularly represents victims who have been abused or neglected and their families in cases against nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, our Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Lawyers are here to help. Suthers & Harper has been fighting for victims of abuse and neglect in nursing homes for nearly three decades. Contact us now online or toll-free at 1-800-320-2384 for a free consultation.