California nursing home group suffers string of decertifications

A prominent California nursing home operator says that industry regulators are unfairly singling out his facilities and taking unnecessarily adverse actions against them.

That is not how government officials see it. In fact, they say that many of the multiple homes owned and operated by business entrepreneur Shlomo Rechnitz — described in one media account as “California’s most influential nursing home owner” — are rife with worrisome problems.

That concern has indeed brought a forceful response from officials, with a recent article focusing on nursing home neglect noting the “flurry of citations and fines [doled out] for alleged poor quality care.”

Rechnitz reportedly maintains control of about seven percent of all skilled nursing beds in facilities across the state, owning more than 80 homes. Collectively, his operations have come in for withering criticisms and strong sanctions; notably, three Rechnitz-operated facilities were recently decertified by federal authorities, which bans them from receiving funding from Medicare and Medi-Cal, respectively.

And now litigation has entered the picture, following the harrowing story concerning a former resident of the Rechnitz-owned Mission Grove Healthcare & Wellness Centre in Pasadena.

That facility is one of the decertified homes. Health officials failed it on four consecutive inspections last year, and slapped it with more than a score of citations earlier this year.

The lawsuit targeting Mission Grove was filed earlier this month by the family of an ex-resident with known mental health issues who took her life at the home.

The complaint centrally alleges that the quality of care at the facility has suffered in light of management’s undue focus on maximizing profits.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “California’s largest nursing home owner sued,” Marjie Lundstrom, Aug. 12, 2015