Start your week with a look at some of the most interesting skilled nursing stories from around the web, including a SNF with a unique clientele in Connecticut.
SNF that serves parolees wins case
A skilled nursing facility that serves prison parolees in the suburbs of Hartford, Conn. won a court ruling this week against local officials.
The 60 West Street facility in Rocky Hill has 95 beds and receives referrals from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Correction, the Hartford Courant reported. The building’s population included 13 prisoners out on parole at the time the town brought a zoning lawsuit against it, including registered sex offenders and people convicted of murder and rape.
“I really feel for the people who have had their lives disrupted that live next to the facility,” former town attorney Morris Borea told the Courant. “This was was really about them … I have recommended that the town consider an appeal and leave it to their new town attorneys to make that decision.”
Local real estate agents reportedly testified that surrounding property values had declined after the facility opened, with neighbors saying the presence of sex offenders brought “unease in the neighborhood.”
Judge Marshall K. Berger, Jr. disagreed with the town’s arguments.
“According to testimony and evidence, the 60 West operation was similar to any other nursing home,” he wrote, according to the Courant. “While some patients may have had certain parole conditions, which were not known or enforced by nursing home employees, the testimony indicates that such a situation exists at all nursing homes.”
“Moreover, not all of the patients were state referrals … 60 West does not admit dangerous individuals and has rejected some referrals based on safety concerns,” the judge continued.
Companies reach fraud settlements
Six Maryland companies — four nursing home operators and two consultants — reached an agreement over a fraudulent billing claim from the Department of Justice, with the overall settlement totaling $6 million.
The firms allegedly billed Medicare for therapy services that were never provided or deemed medically unnecessary; the offenses occurred between January 2010 and January 2014.
“The United States alleged that the consulting companies and the SNFs put systems in place to maximize Medicare and Tricare reimbursement and that caused the submissions of claims for therapy services that were either not provided or that were unnecessary,” the Department of Justice said in a release announcing the settlement.
The companies — including Caring Heart Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Riverview SNF, Global Healthcare Services Group, and GHC Clinical Consultancy — denied wrongdoing, and the DOJ settlement does not mean they were found liable.
Written by Alex Spanko