Attorney general sues Orleans County facility as part of ongoing nursing home probe
(North Country Public Radio) - New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating fraud and neglect at nursing homes across the state. On Tuesday, she announced a lawsuit against an Orleans County nursing home.
During a press conference in Buffalo, James said it wasn’t just the COVID-19 pandemic that claimed the lives of thousands of nursing home residents in New York state. She said her office found yearslong systemic issues that set the facilities up for failure when the health crisis hit.
James pointed specifically to for-profit nursing homes, who she said routinely did the bare minimum in order to increase profits. She said The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion was among the worst offenders.
"The owners and operators of The Villages orchestrated an elaborate Medicaid fraud scheme, pocketing more than $18.6 million from the villages since 2015," James said. "(That's) more than $18 million that should have been used to reinvest into The Villages for residents and for their care and for their safety."
James wants the owners to return all the government funds they allegedly received, to appoint financial and health care monitors at The Villages, and require the facility to stop taking new patients until further notice.
James told reporters her office's investigation found systemic issues at other nursing homes that will be announced at a later date.
"It’s important that residents and the public ... know that if you have loved ones at nursing homes, that you should check on them," she added.
James advised those with concerns to contact her office’s Medicaid fraud unit.
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