Whether you have an elderly loved one at a nursing home in Riverside County or elsewhere in Southern California, you should learn more about the recent lawsuit filed by the state of California against Brookdale Senior Living. According to an article in Skilled Nursing News, the lawsuit alleges that Brookdale Senior Living Center, a major nursing home operator in the U.S., submitted “false nursing home staffing data to the federal government” and mishandled resident discharges.
Staffing data is used in part to determine the rating of a nursing home, since understaffing can be a significant indicator of the possibility of nursing home negligence at a facility. When a nursing home does not have sufficient staff to handle the needs of residents, those residents can sustain serious injuries as a result of passive nursing home neglect. The recent lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living highlights the significance of staffing data, and the need to hold facilities accountable for providing incorrect information that could misrepresent resident safety risks.
Details of the California Lawsuit Against Brookdale
According to California attorney general Xavier Becerra, “we are holding Brookdale accountable for artificially increasing its profits by cutting corners when transferring or discharging patients.” Becerra noted allegations against the nursing home operator that “it lured individuals to its facilities through false promises about providing the highest quality care,” and “violat[ed] the public’s trust” in significant ways.
Brookdale is based in Brentwood, Tennessee, but it operates 10 skilled nursing facilities in the state of California. The lawsuit alleges that Brookdale submitted “artificially inflated nursing staffing data to CMS in order to achieve higher ratings on the overall five-star scale.” In addition, the lawsuit accuses Brookdale of failing to follow the appropriate process for handling discharges of nursing home residents—an intentional failure, the lawsuit alleges, that was “intended to boost profits.” As the article notes, the lawsuit came shortly after The New York Times reported on nursing homes that provided inaccurate data about staffing in order to get higher ratings from the CMS star system.
Learning More About Brookdale Facilities in California and Across the County
Brookdale operates a very large number of assisted-living facilities and nursing homes across the country. Indeed, according to the article, there are 726 Brookdale-operated senior living communities in 43 different states. Those facilities include 563 assisted-living facilities and 20 continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, the latter of which include Brookdale-operated skilled nursing homes.
The Skilled Nursing News article implies that the lawsuit against Brookdale could be the start of a trend that involves holding facilities accountable for misrepresenting staffing data. Although it may take quite some time before the CMS star rating system could accurately reflect the quality of a facility, such an improvement might only be possible if nursing home operators are held to more stringent standards in supplying staffing data and other information about quality of care.
Contact Our Riverside County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If you have an elderly loved one who sustained injuries at a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Southern California, it is critical to seek advice from a Riverside County nursing home abuse lawyer about holding the facility accountable and seeking compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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