Stick With The Contract To Prevent Charges Of Failing To Provide Care For Residents

A nursing facility in Los Angeles agreed to pay $275,000 to settle a lawsuit that contained allegations it "dumped" current residents in order to take more COVID-19 patients. The city attorney's office announced the settlement with the 99-bed skilled nursing facility in March of 2021.

The lawsuit, filed in July of 2020, alleged the facility was trying to increase its Medicare reimbursements and did not consult with family members before moving residents.

The facility's administrator said that the organization disputes that allegations, but decided to put the costs of litigation toward resident care.

In addition to paying $275,000 in penalties and costs, the facility also agreed to nearly double its staff and be subject to greater oversight. Danielle Brown "LA provider to pay $275K and double staffing to settle 'dumping' lawsuit that claimed nursing home's goal was to acquire more COVID-19 patients" mcknights.com (Mar. 03, 2021).

 

Commentary

Contractual obligations regarding care and professional policies and procedures should be reviewed before taking action on service changes. Failure to follow the contract can lead to claims like the one referenced.

Contract provisions should include adherence to a standard of care, but also during what circumstances a patient can be moved.

Have your attorney review all contract changes and update your contracts, including patient contracts, on a yearly basis.

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