Owners of nursing homes in New Jersey are being barred from the state’s Medicaid program after the abrupt closure of their facility last fall that displaced more than 70 residents, jeopardizing their safety.
The suspension from the federal program for Gail and Ezra Bogner, who owned the now defunct Princeton Care Center and Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center, was announced early this week and starts in late March. It comes on the heels of another abrupt nursing home closure in St. Louis.
New Jersey’s Acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh said the owners were given 100 days to divest from other nursing homes.
Gail Bogner has a minority stake in two other Medicaid-funded New Jersey nursing homes, according to the Office of the State Comptroller’s (OSC) Medicaid Fraud Division. If Bogner doesn’t divest her ownership of the facilities, Fountain View Care Center and Tallwood Care Center, these facilities would no longer be able to receive any Medicaid funding.
“The Bogners’ recklessness, neglect, and incredibly poor judgment caused serious harm and trauma to the residents of Princeton Care Center,” Walsh said in a statement. “It presents too serious of a risk to allow them to have influence over any other Medicaid-funded nursing homes.”
The closure precedes a similar situation in St. Louis – Northview Village, the largest nursing home in the city, also closed abruptly mid-December, displacing 170 residents. Northview, owned by Healthcare Accounting Services (HAS), was considered a “safety net” nursing home, which kept people from calling through the cracks.
Northview’s closure was so sudden that loved ones weren’t immediately able to find residents, and more than 130 staff were left unpaid.
Similarly, Princeton on Sept. 1 abruptly evacuated 72 residents when the facility ran out of cash, according to a report from NJ Spotlight News. Some residents were waiting for family members to pick them up on the sidewalk, according to the report.
Residents were moved to new facilities in under 12 hours, giving residents and their families only a few hours’ notice, Planet Princeton reported. The emergency evacuation plan is normally reserved for natural disasters.
“The Bogners were entrusted to maintain a safe environment for New Jersey residents and failed to meet this fundamental responsibility,” said Walsh. “We are taking action to protect other Medicaid recipients and the integrity of the New Jersey Medicaid Program.”
Woodland, once the state’s largest nursing home, was shut down by the state in 2022 after failing to protect the health and safety of residents, the report found.
The agency in November notified Gail Bogner and her son Ezra that the agency was seeking to disqualify them from state Medicaid for 8 years now, citing a failure to protect the health and safety of residents.
Ezra was the administrator for Princeton and still has an active state nursing home administrator license, reports said.