One patient, for example, needed medical cream applied daily but records show it was skipped 19 times one month. The same resident didn't shower for 14 days that month and didn't have his hair washed for nearly a month, according to the Commonwealth Court lawsuit against
Grane, based in
The lawsuit contends Grane advertised "high staff-to-patient" ratios but had too few certified nursing assistants to ensure that patients were fed, clothed, bathed and otherwise cared for properly and as advertised. Grane's patients are largely elderly or too disabled to care for themselves.
"We believe there is ample evidence that these facilities fell far short when it came to providing essential services," Attorney General
Grane also "deceived the Commonwealth regarding the true conditions and level of care they provided by increasing staffing levels on the floor" whenever state
"In reality, when DOH surveyors were not at the Grane Facilities, staffing levels went back down to normal levels and office and administrative staff rarely or never provided direct care to residents," the lawsuit said.
Staff members of the various facilities told investigators they felt rushed to provide basic services because of understaffing, the lawsuit said.
For example, some patients were awakened at
The lawsuit also contends the staffing problems led to fraudulent billing because it kept patients from receiving the level of care that Grane advertised which was paid for by their
"These alleged misrepresentations not only deceived the residents of these facilities, but Grane's business practices also degraded residents and increased the risk of negative health consequences," Beemer said.
Among other things, staff would use mechanical lifting devices alone to move patients, which increased the likelihood that patients could fall or be dropped, or that the staff operating the lift could be injured, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks