The Nation’s Largest Senior Living Operator Sued for Wrongfully Discharging Patients
California’s attorney general, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and local officials are suing ten of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.’s California-based skilled nursing facilities. The suit alleges that the nation’s largest senior living home operator had misled consumers on quality ratings and broke laws intended to protect patients when they are discharged from a facility if their Medicare coverage ended. The company is also said to have failed in giving the 30-day notice of transfers or discharges as required for all U.S. skilled nursing facilities.
“Brookdale does this so it can fill its beds with residents who will bring in more money,” the lawsuit files read. It says the company will discharge patients “regardless of the care and treatment needs,” and that the company also failed to prepare patients to be released or transferred adequately, gave false information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that it uses to award quality ratings, and over-reported its nursing staffing hours to the feds.
The Tennessee-based company operates in 43 states, including more than 25 locations in Illinois, heavily concentrated in the greater Chicago area. Collectively, Brookdale’s website says it has 726 independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities capable of serving about 64,000 residents nationwide.
Residents Have the Right to Appeal a Nursing Home Discharge Decision
All residents at risk of discharge should first receive the name, address, and telephone number of the state long-term care ombudsman to be used as a resource to guide them through the process as discussed in section 483.15(c) of Title 42 of the Federal Regulations Code. In Illinois, all residents have the right to appeal a transfer by filing a request for a hearing with the Illinois Department of Public Health within ten days after receiving the discharge notice. The facility cannot discharge or transfer while an appeal is pending.
Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said in a statement that when nursing home companies break the rules, “they create environments that subject the most vulnerable among us to unnecessary victimization, stress, and even physical harm.”
The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti in Chicago couldn’t agree more. And when a resident is transferred or discharged from a nursing home, the change can create monumental impacts on their emotional, physical, and financial well-being.
Fight A Nursing Home Discharge or Involuntary Transfer
If you or a loved one suffered severe injury or death due to an improperly handled transfer, eviction, or discharge, please let the Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin and Perconti help. Our experienced team can review your situation’s facts and advise you of any legal remedies available.
Residents and families can call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or in Chicago by dialing 312-332-2872. All calls and discussions with our attorneys are welcome, accessible, and always confidential.