A nursing home in Ballston Spa, New York, has been fined $7 million for billing Medicaid for "worthless services" it provided to its patients, the Justice Department announced.
“This settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that nursing home residents receive the quality of care to which they are entitled,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “When individuals or entities put the welfare of these vulnerable residents in jeopardy, they will be held accountable.”
A settlement with the owners and operators of the Saratoga Center for Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care provides for a fine of $7.1 million. The center is no longer in operation.
The Justice Department said that Saratoga Center delivered worthless services to residents, and its physical conditions deteriorated to such a degree that it violated federal and state regulations. Specifically, the operators failed to adequately staff the home, and residents suffered medication errors, unnecessary falls, and the development of pressure ulcers.
Additionally, Saratoga Center did not consistently maintain hot water throughout the facility, have an adequate linen inventory, and dispose of solid waste. In 2019, Saratoga Center was placed on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Special Focus Facility list – a list of the worst-performing nursing homes in the United States. Saratoga Center remained on the list until its closure.
“Nursing homes should protect the health and well-being of every resident,” said U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman for the Northern District of New York. “That did not happen at Saratoga Center. Instead, a business dispute between the operators and landlord led to dangerous conditions for residents and staff, and caused the submission of false claims to Medicaid for worthless services."
The United States’ investigation was part of its Elder Justice Initiative, which supports the efforts of state and local prosecutors, law enforcement, and other elder justice professionals to combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, with the development of training, resources and information. Learn more about the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.