Nursing Home Was Caught 'Dumping' Residents to Profit Off COVID Patients

Posted: Mar 02, 2021 9:05 PM
Nursing Home Was Caught 'Dumping' Residents to Profit Off COVID Patients

Source: AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

A Los Angeles-based nursing home is accused of "dumping" residents on the streets or in unqualified resident facilities in order to take on COVID-positive patients.

The skilled nursing home facility, which has 99 beds in total, is accused of intentionally neglecting residents while pushing others out to make room for COVID-positive patients because Medicare provided higher reimbursement payments, The Los Angeles Times reported. 

According to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, a settlement was reached with Lakeview Terrance, the nursing home in question. The facility is required to pay $130,000 in civil penalties and $40,000 in costs and fees the city attorney's office incurred. 

“This victory for these patients is all the more important given COVID-19’s devastating impact on nursing home residents in L.A. and across the nation,” Feuer said in a statement.  “Now there will be dramatic improvements in patient care, new COVID-related protections, improved oversight when patients are discharged, and ongoing work by a Performance Monitor to ensure critical safeguards are followed.”

Under the agreement, the nursing home will double the number of Registered Nurses (RNs) and install a performance monitoring system for a time period of six-months to 18-months. The facility is responsible for paying for the monitoring system, which comes with a price tag of $105,000 to $210,000, depending on the length of time it is utilized. 

The monitoring system will be given 24/6 access to all patient medical records, which can be conducted during unannounced inspections. All patient discharge papers, doctors' orders and coordinated follow-up care will be monitored through the system.

Staff was accused of not providing the resident with medication but signing off saying the medicine was handed out. With the new monitoring system, staff will be required to provide timely and accurate records of distribution to the program.

Lakeview Terrace is also required to have a 14-day supply of necessary personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, surgical masks and gowns. It's part of a larger goal to get the nursing home's COVID positivity rates below 10 percent. 

If a regulator decides any of the violations could cause immediate injury or death to a resident, Lakeview Terrace will be required to pay the city and county $6,000 in civil penalties for each declaration. 

This is the second lawsuit the city attorney's office has brought against the facility. Lakeview Terrace was previously accused of dumping homeless patients on Skid Row. In that settlement, the facility was required to pay $200,000 in civil penalties and provide $50,000 over a two-year period for housing costs for residents that couldn't afford living arrangements when they were discharged.