Ha-Rav Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Speaks…and Fellow Hypocrites Listen…

The Great Headliner and the Same Man Who Owns 1 in 14 Beds in Nursing Homes in California…

We had been trying to dodge posting this. We are disgusted that a man who allows elderly to rot in bed and gets excruciatingly rich doing it is an honored and distinguished speaker anywhere. But, anonymous posters proudly laud his words so we thought we would post this for your viewing. We believe Shlomo  and the honors bestowed upon him to be the quintessential definition of hypocrisy. There really should be a special place in hell waiting…But, you be the judge of that…

9 thoughts on “Ha-Rav Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Speaks…and Fellow Hypocrites Listen…

  1. Here is how the money is made that supports the Mir yeshiva that honors the man who does this:

    MY GOD PEOPLE, HAVE WE LOST ALL THAT IS SACRED AND HOLY BY PROMOTING AND WORSHIPPING THE MOST EVIL AMONG US? WHO THE F$%K CARES HOW MUCH MONEY THE EVIL RECHNITZ HAS WHEN IT HAS ALL BE MADE UNDER SUCH HORRENDOUS CIRCUMSTANCES?

    WHEN WILL OUR LEADERS SPEAK OUT???

    Life and Death in Health Care’s Trenches

    Is a nursing home a safe place? The question is not, is a nursing home a nice place? Not much room for argument there. Nursing home are not popular places. The question here, though, is it is a safe place?

    It seems not, certainly not if the home is operated by Brius Healthcare, the largest chain of nursing homes in California, with 81 facilities statewide, and a handful in Nevada and Texas. This chain – increasingly the typical organizational form in the for profit nursing home industry – is owned by the southern California tycoon, Shomo Rechnitz; Brius controls 1 in 14 nursing home beds in California, an empire with facilities from San Diego to Eureka.

    Rechnitz, who purchased his first nursing home in 2006, is called an entrepreneur and philanthropist by admirers; he is a supporter of Jewish and Israeli enterprises, but considers himself nondenominational; he also bankrolls right-wing California politicians. His business depends on funding from the government – Medicaid and Medicare. Rechnitz, a success story for many, a rising star in the ranks of West Coast billionaires, is now in trouble, as is his industry. Shlomo Rechnitz and Brius face charges from the media, the state Attorney General, the police, nursing home reformers, patient advocates and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

    The important new report, “California Nursing Home Chains By Ownership Type: Facility and Residential Characteristics, Staffing and Quality Outcomes in 2015,” written Leslie Ross and Charlene Harrington, UC San Francisco professors, while not focused on Brius, spells out the issues in great detail. More new information is also available from the California Association for Nursing Home Reform (CANHRA). The Sacramento Bee has an investigative report on nursing homes available on line and now NUHW has put up its own website, documenting Brius’ misdeeds and supporting its members own fight for decent contracts – BriusWatch.org.

    The nursing home industry was transformed in the 1950s and 60’s, as small, non-profit providers were increasingly replaced by for-profit companies and these flourished through to the end of the century, fueled by revenues from Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, however, the industry has been in slow decline, despite the continuing aging of the population; still in 2015 there were 15,640 nursing homes in the US with 1.5 million residents. California has 1200 nursing homes located in 56 of its counties.

    The shift to for-profit chains has taken place in this context; private owners now increasingly rely on consolidation – increasing market share – in place of actual growth; aggressive chain managements, Brius excels here, acquire failing facilities at bargain-basement prices often through bankruptcy proceedings. These facilities most often already have quality problems – problems which persist and often worsen under Brius.

    Today, the deepening crises in mental health and homelessness present possible new clients, as well as, of course, new problems. The number of mentally ill and young residents living in California nursing homes has risen over the past number of years, creating a volatile population mix that produces safety and patient care challenges for traditional elderly nursing home residents and nursing home staff. According to the Sacramento Bee report, California for-profit nursing home owners admit acute-care and non-traditional residents which can yield as much as $800 per day for those with Medicare. Thus the chains have targeted services to post-acute care and rehabilitation – services that receive the highest Medicare reimbursement at the expense of long-stay residents.

    Seventy-five percent of California nursing homes are now owned by chains. These chains have cut nursing levels and reduced support staff, and overseen an unmistakable decline in quality of care and life for clients, as well as the working conditions, wages and benefits of its employees.

    Of all the areas with “serious quality problems” examined by Ross and Harrington, staffing is singled out; and the fact that California’s “Medicaid reimbursement rate methodology has only weak incentives to increase staffing and has very limited financial accountability standards and reporting requirements.” The result – “dangerously low staffing levels” are endemic in the industry.

    They also note that all the evidence suggests that “high staffing levels, especially RN staff, have been associated with higher quality of care…”

    Studies, including these, show, not surprisingly, that “facilities with the highest profit margins have been found to have the poorest quality” and, again not surprisingly, that “government and business interests have been supporting the for-profit nursing home industry that controls the long-term care field to the disadvantage of non-profit organizations and home-and community based services.”

    Back to Brius. “What we’re seeing at the Brius locations is quite concerning,” says Molly Davies, administrator for Los Angeles’ Long-term Care Ombudsman Programs, the programs that investigate nursing home complaints. “We have seen patterns of poor care, patterns of substandard care in some of these facilities.

    “The dangerously low staffing levels in many California nursing homes have resulted in many serious quality problems.” The result? Davies says that in far too many cases her staff has witnessed what can only be seen as a “flagrant disregard for human life.”

    BriusWatch.org has gathered the evidence for us, the details in human lives. Here are examples, all shocking, all inexcusable:

    In 2009, Rechnitz purchased an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Fresno County, then converted it into a nursing home. In 2011, a state investigation found numerous health hazards at the aging facility. Surveyors cited bathrooms with standing water and toilets brimming with fecal matter; the poorly maintained sewage treatment system downhill from the home resulted in workers having to manually dispose of feces in garbage bags.

    Inspectors also detailed a gastrointestinal illness that swept through the facility in September and October, sickening numerous residents and staff. One 75-year-old resident, who contracted salmonella during the outbreak while recuperating from a mastectomy, died in late September following a wound infection.

    Inspectors found that staff lacked the training to properly change her dressing, and she was admitted to an acute care hospital with sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection, state documents show. Doctors discovered that a foam sponge used in the dressing had been left behind by staff and was growing into her skin; she died within a week. (Sacramento Bee, June 13, 2015)

    In Montrose, CA, a 30-year-old paraplegic man living at the Brius’ Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre died three months into his stay. In July of 2010, Armando Reagan had begun bleeding profusely and cried out to nursing home staff for help. Fifteen minutes later his sheets were soaked and a pool of blood had collected on the floor.

    By the time paramedics arrived and transported him to a nearby hospital emergency room his breathing was labored and heartbeat rapid. He died there within an hour. The Los Angeles County coroner reported Reagan died from hemorrhagic shock due to chronic infections stemming from an old wound and from neglect by the nursing home. (Kaiser Health News. October 27, 2014)

    In Roseville, CA in 2012, 82-year-old Genine Zizzo entered Brius’ Roseville Point Health and Wellness Center in good health and only needing physical therapy after a fall at home. Ten days later, she was transferred to an acute-care hospital in a coma and later died of multiple organ failures. Her family alleges that the nursing home used anti-psychotic medicines as a form of chemical restraint, which led to her death. (ABC Local News Sacramento, June 17, 2015.)

    In November 2015, Courtney Cargill signed herself out of a suburban Los Angeles nursing home. and took off on foot.

    Cargill scribbled her initials on the sign-out sheet at Brius’ South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital and declared her destination: “Library etc.”

    Instead, Cargill – a 57-year-old resident known by nursing home staff to be suicidal and delusional – walked unsupervised to a nearby service station and bought a plastic jug and gallon of gas. She walked a quarter-mile to a second service station where, at 8:05 a.m., a surveillance camera recorded her heading to the back, stripping off her clothes, dousing her body with gasoline and lighting herself on fire.

    She walked away, down the sidewalk and into a neighbor’s driveway. Cargill died at a Los Angeles hospital less than 24 hours later, with second- and third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body.

    Prior to this, staff observed Courtney Cargill “having hallucinations, hearing voices and talking to herself;” nevertheless she requested and obtained an unsupervised pass to leave the nursing home for up to four hours a day.

    “There is no evidence,” according to the family’s attorney, “that Courtney’s physician made a determination that Courtney was capable of safely being on an independent, unsupervised pass, as required by the facility’s policy…Instead of providing mental health services, defendants took money from Courtney to house her in a ‘room and board’ fashion, content to let her smoke cigarettes and watch TV all day.” (Pasadena Star, October, 8, 2015).

    Five weeks after Geneva Hilton, 68, was admitted to Brius’ Centinela Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre, West (Inglewood, CA), she was dead. According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Geneva Hilton entered the nursing home with clear lungs and in good health. Five weeks later, she was suffering from pneumonia, dehydration and a body temperature lower than 80 degrees.

    During the investigation, a CBS reporter went undercover into the facility where he heard patients moaning aloud and his producer noticed the smell of human waste. Czersale Hilton, Geneva Hilton’s daughter, is suing the nursing home, alleging elder abuse and negligence. She joins a growing list of others suing Rechnitz and/or Brius over patient abuse and neglect. (CBS Local, Los Angeles CA, May 17, 2016.)

    A Brius nursing home in South Pasadena ran afoul of the state partly because it recruited convicted felons, probationers, rapists and robbers as patients.

    Instead of a median age of about 75 years old, residents at the former South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital had an average age of 37, Police Chief Arthur Miller said. He accused the former nursing home of sending recruiting teams to Los Angeles to get new patients.

    “In that lower age population, there were convicted felons, probationers, drug users, rapists, robbers,” Miller said. “Traditionally police officers do not go to convalescent hospitals on a routine basis, especially to handle the crimes that I just described. … The staff at the time were not equipped for it. The hospital was not equipped for it, and it wasn’t licensed to do that type of rehabilitation.” The facility was closed. (Pasadena Star, October 20, 2015)

    Between October 2015 and January 2015, three of Rechnitz’s facilities, including South Pasadena, were decertified by the federal government, an economic kiss of death that is extremely rare.

    This punishment strips a nursing home of its crucial Medicare funding until it can demonstrate improvement, or is closed or sold. Since 2010, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decertified only six out of more than 1,200 nursing homes in California.

    Rechnitz controls his California nursing homes through a web of 130 companies. He has an ownership stake in many other companies, including a pharmaceutical company, two medical supply corporations, and a management services business.

    This complex structure serves to conceal the nursing homes’ ownership and shield Brius, its owner, and its assets from lawsuits. Rechnitz’ 81 nursing homes and assisted living facilities operate under as many different names, and each is managed and owned by parent companies that also have different names. This allows Brius to operate below the radar. The name Brius does not appear in the Department of Public Health’s database of licensed nursing homes. It also potentially allows Brius’ owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, to profit at multiple stages of his corporation’s convoluted healthcare delivery system.

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  2. I’m not from California, but I’m surprised no one has yet tried to compare accommodations in this sukkah to those in his nursing homes.

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  3. I totally agree. Everyone loved him till the unions tried to get the facilities. It makes me wonder if perhaps the unions are behind this

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  4. “A man who allows elderly to rot in their beds”
    I’m actually not a fan of Rechnitz but….
    Let’s try for a tiny bit of honesty here. I know it’s against your grain
    Are you aware (check it out) that for YEARS he was the state of California’s go to guy to rescue troubled facilities??
    And in those Northern California hick towns there were plenty of them
    Just check it out.
    Then he got too big and took on the unions ….

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    • @ someone – October 19, 2016 – Well, who on the State level was padded for those recommendations? We have dozens of stories from families who are victimized in his nursing homes and patients who are unable to speak for themselves. When you own 1 in 14 beds, it is hard to go anywhere else.

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