Shlomo Rechnitz, the Other Side of a Mirror – Cali Nursing Home Reform

shameonshlomo

California passes nursing home transparency law

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this month requiring nursing home owners to provide more information about “insider” companies that may siphon scarce resources away from nursing residents through nursing homes’ inflated payments for supplies, rents, and services.

The legislation authored by Assemblyman Wood (D-Healdsburg) stemmed from a state audit of nursing homes earlier this year that focused on Brius Healthcare, California’s largest nursing home company.

Wood and Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) requested the audit following concerns raised by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which published a report showing that during 2015 Brius nursing homes purchased $67 million in goods and services from 65 “insider” companies owned by Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz and his relatives.

In 2015, Rechnitz’s “insider” companies – including paper landlords – stood to gain as much as $12 million by charging inflated rents to Brius nursing homes, according to NUHW’s report. This money, says NUHW, should have been spent on care and services for nursing home residents who often lack adequate staffing, support and care.

The state audit, published in May 2018, found that the California Department of Public Health failed to perform necessary inspections or issue timely citations for substandard care. In addition, California State Auditor Elaine Howle found the reporting rules for nursing homes failed to show whether operators are profiting from business deals with “insider” companies owned by nursing home executives.

To improve transparency of these related-party transactions, Wood’s bill (Assembly Bill 1953) requires nursing home owners to disclose whether they have “an ownership or control interest of 5% or more in a related party … that provides any service to the skilled nursing facility.”

Under those circumstances, the nursing home must disclose all of the services provided by the related-party company, the number of people who provide the service, and any other information requested by state officials.

If the nursing home receives goods, fees, and services worth $10,000 or more per year from a related-party company, then this “insider” company must give state officials a copy of its profit and loss statement as well as data on caregiver staffing levels inside the nursing home.

The bill “will now ensure transparency and reporting that will allow us to make sure that these companies are not being used to generate excessive profits for the owners of these facilities on the backs of the residents,” Wood told Skilled Nursing News.

Sen. McGuire, who voted for the bill, praised the new law.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

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Shlomo Rechnitz, Nursing Homes, Lawsuits, Understaffing

SKM_C65818070214440

 

Lawsuit alleges Roseville nursing home and others understaffed on purpose – to increase profits

A recently filed lawsuit alleges Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center knowingly understaffed to save money.

This case is among 15 class action lawsuits alleging purposeful understaffing at 15 nursing homes around California filed by elder abuse law firm Garcia, Artigliere & Medby and The Arns Law Firm, which represents workers and their families.

Aside from the 98-bed Roseville facility, the 14 other facilities are mainly located in Southern California and the Bay Area.

The Roseville lawsuit, filed on behalf of petitioner Diane Bechtold, a resident at the center, alleges the understaffing is “chronic and intentional” and an “effort to pocket unearned profit.”

The lawsuits name a number of defendants, including Shlomo Rechnitz, California’s largest nursing home owner, and Rockport Administrative Services LLC, a consulting company with a number of Rechnitz’s facilities as clients.

“This violation of each resident’s rights was directed and implemented at the mandate of the managers and owners of the facilities, Rockport Administrative Services and Shlomo Rechnitz, and his multiple layers of affiliated companies,” the lawsuit claims.

According to Mark Johnson, from the firm Hooper, Lundy & Bookman PC, representing Rockport, the consulting company provides services to skilled nursing facilities “including oversight of compliance with applicable staffing requirements.”

“Importantly, none of the lawsuits allege any harm to the residents of facilities which Rockport serves,” Johnson said. “Roseville Point Healthcare and Wellness Center … is in full compliance with applicable staffing laws including the increased staffing levels required as of July 1, 2018. In fact, its compliance has been confirmed during standard annual audits conducted by the California Department of Public Health.”

The health department could not immediately provide information about compliance with staffing requirements at the center.

Documents sent by Johnson appear to show the California Department of Public Health reported the Roseville facility had zero days of non-compliance with required staffing levels in 2016. The health department could not immediately authenticate the documents.

Glaser Weil trial lawyer Jill Basinger, representing all of the defendants in the lawsuits except Rockport, claims the nursing facilities “not only maintain the state required 3.2 nursing hours per patient day, they even exceed them.”

Staffing requirements

Whereas previously, 3.2 nursing hours per patient day was the minimum numeric staffing ratio required in a skilled nursing facility under state law, as of July 1, 2018, the new minimum required ratio is 3.5.

To continue reading click here.

 

Another Effort to Sell a Nursing Home to Allure, Joel Landau and Their Partners: Profit Before Care – Please AG PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE

allure.2

Another Attempted Nursing Home Purchase by Allure – Whose Pockets Will be Lined and How can the Public Help?

The below-referenced case is being heard. The Greater Nursing Home owners are attempting to sell the facility to the Allure Group cast of characters: Joel Landau (not photo attached, of cours), and the Rubin(s). The AG is attempting to prevent the sale. It’s calendared for  8/15/17 per the alert below.

 

Oral arguments will be heard at that time. Frank Carone (disinterest? – NO) (partner of Brooklyn Democrat Boss Seddio and Mayor deBlasio’s L.I fundraiser) Howard Fensterman  – the lawyer attempting to facilitate the hand-over of yet another facility to predatory owners (you’ve seen his name before).

With all of the money that incestuously changes hands among this cast of characters it’s a wonder why they don’t just all share the same bank account and be done with it.

 

Being clear, it is yet another effort facilitated by the co-opted NY State DOH and its Public Health & Health Planning Council  (think Rivington House) to  sit back and lets these corporate takeovers happen. This cast of characters is a group of morally challenged individuals who make millions of dollars off the backs of elderly and infirmed patients.

Where is the San Francisco Bee when you need it? 

 

Index Number: 155305/2016
The following case which you have subscribed to in eTrack has been updated. Changes from the last update are shown in red and are annotated.

Court: New York Civil Supreme
Index Number: 155305/2016
Case Name: GREATER HARLEM NURSING vs. X
Case Type: E-Other Special Proceedings
Track: Standard
Upstate RJI Number: 
Disposition Date: 
Date NOI Due: 
NOI Filed: 
Calendar Number: 
RJI Filed: 06/28/2016
Jury Status: 
Justice Name: KOTLER, LYNN R.

Attorney/Firm for Plaintiff: 
ABRAMS FENSTERMAN FENSTERMAN/
3 DAKOTA DR, STE 300 
LAKE SUCCESS, NY 11042
Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record
Status: Active

Last Appearance:
Appearance Date: 07/12/2017 — Information updated
Appearance Time: 
On For: Supreme Trial — Information updated
Appearance Outcome: Remove Stay — Information updated
Justice: KOTLER, LYNN R. — Information updated
Part: STATUS CONFERENCE 8 — Information updated
Comments: 

Future Appearances: — Information updated
Appearance Date: 08/15/2017 — Information updated
Appearance Time: — Information updated
On For: Motion — Information updated
Appearance Outcome: — Information updated
Justice: KOTLER, LYNN R. — Information updated
Part: IAS MOTION 8EFM — Information updated
Comments: 10AM — Information updated
ORAL ARGUMENT — Information updated
Appearance Date: 08/15/2017 — Information updated
Appearance Time: — Information updated
On For: Motion — Information updated
Appearance Outcome: — Information updated
Justice: KOTLER, LYNN R. — Information updated
Part: IAS MOTION 8EFM — Information updated
Comments: 10AM — Information updated
ORAL ARGUMENT — Information updated

Older appearances may exist but are not shown.

Motions: Motion Number: 2
Date Filed: 07/26/2016
Filed By: PLAINT
Relief Sought: Leave To Intervene
Submit Date: — Information updated
Answer Demanded: No
Status: Open: 

Before Justice: KOTLER
Decision: 
Order Signed Date: 

Motion Number: 1
Date Filed: 
Filed By: 
Relief Sought: Other Reliefs
Submit Date: 
Answer Demanded: No
Status: Open: 

Before Justice: KOTLER
Decision: 
Order Signed Date: 

Scanned Decisions: None on file.

To access this case directly click here.
This is an automated e-mail. If you have questions about your case please contact the Court directly.

The Hopkins Center Nursing Home in Brooklyn – Your Dog Will Get Better Treatment in a Kennel

 

“The Nearby Kennel is a Far Better Place to Be Than Hudson Center”

 

Dear Readers: This week we received numerous Letters to the Editor from people who have family members in the Hopkins Center in Brooklyn, NY. There are allegations that patients are being held against their will. There are claims of fair hearings that are either not being held or are being held and then ignored. In one case, the Social Worker involved allegedly advised the family that the patient could not leave but the patient is, according to the family, well enough. The family alleges that the social workers hold patients for the purposes of continuing to collect medicaid and medicare benefits for treatments that are either unnecessary or not being performed and for medications that are not being distributed.

We take letters like these very seriously. It is our hope that someone reading this can look into the Hudson facility to investigate.

Landau and his ilk have not been given a star for excellence in the compassion and kindness department. They are experts in their capacity to manipulate the system with payoffs and financial interests. And, as we have stated many times, but for a threatened copyright litigation, we would post Joel Landau’s face for public consumption.

In the interest of protecting the elderly and most vulnerable in our society, we are reposting information from previous posts.

As to the letters we have received, they are not being posted because they contain medical information and records about patients. Subject to the authorization of the families involved, the records are available for law enforcement investigation.

LM 10-7-17

http://nursing-homes.healthgrove.com/l/9416/Hopkins-Center-For-Rehabilitation-And-Healthcare

Hopkins Center for Rehab

https://www.yelp.com/biz/hopkins-center-for-rehabilitation-and-healthcare-brooklyn-2

“Stay away from this place the director Eileen lies! They made my mother walk around with a hospital type looking gown; never dressed her up to sit in the dining room; left the bed wet  and walking around in her slippers nothing on her when she could’ve fell; no supervision !”

To sum it up…as long as there is a failure of moral imperative-as long as the anything goes ‘free market’ health care continues, there will be enabling of criminal behavior. There will be no questioning that something that goes on within the four walls of the nursing facilities is ‘legal.’ How could it not be when there is no guideline and rare enforcement that might curb the abuse on many levels.

If an operator, like Landau in New York must simply pay chump change penalties/settlements to ignorant or willfully complicit government officials – to continue their mismanagement, there will be no change.

The negligent Albany legislators who are kept in office by predatory real estate interests and in the pockets of nursing home lobby groups such as Leading Age, that are run by the same people profiting from the government negligence and moral blindness, our most vulnerable population at the end of their lives will continue to be preyed upon.

Brius Heathcare, Shlomo Rechnitz and Public Funds – Audit

SY Rechnitz

http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20170628/NEWS/170629883

State to audit nursing home company’s use of public funds

A state committee voted Wednesday to approve an audit of California’s largest nursing home owner, Brius Healthcare Services, and whether the company misused hundreds of millions of dollars in government health care funds to benefit its affiliated businesses.

North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) is a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee that voted in favor of the audit Wednesday afternoon. He said the Los Angeles-based Brius Healthcare Services has a “very convoluted” system of nursing homes under limited partnerships and has connections with other businesses founded by Brius Healthcare’s CEO Shlomo Rechnitz.

“Brius controls one in 14 [nursing home] beds in California and it is a very convoluted network of limited partnerships and all sorts of other mechanisms out there,” Wood said to the Times-Standard. “Part of this audit is to see if they are all legitimate. … Our feeling is the way they’re doing this is to maximize profits. It’s not about providing high quality care for people.”

Brius’ spokesman Stefan Friedman wrote in a statement to the Times-Standard that Brius representatives were present at the committee hearing today and were in full support of the proposed audit.

“Not only will the audit results prove that Brius has abided by all applicable rules and regulations, it will also show that Brius went well above and beyond its duties and obligations to subsidize the care of California’s most vulnerable,” Friedman said.

Friedman also questioned McGuire’s and Wood’s information, which it states was provided by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union has been outspoken in its opposition to Brius Healthcare Services and created a website — briuswatch.org — to scrutinize the company and its CEO Shlomo Rechnitz.

“What is most disturbing though is that legislators McGuire and Wood would also glean their information from ‘newspapers’ and blogs, demonstrating their lack of understanding for the very program they oversee,” Friedman continued. “We urge the community and the media to follow the audit through to its findings.”

Brius Healthcare, which owns five of the six nursing homes in Humboldt County and over 80 nursing homes statewide, received over $500 million in reimbursement funds in 2015 from the MediCal and Medicare government health plan programs, which made up 80 percent of its profits, Wood said.

Wood and his North Coast legislative colleague Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said Brius paid out more than $67 million that year to businesses with similar or related ownership for the purchase of services, goods and supplies, and paid more than $46 million to companies established Rechnitz that serve as landlords for their nursing home facilities.

A letter from McGuire and Wood to the state audit committee from earlier this month states that there is evidence that Brius facilities paid inflated prices to some of these business, with some prices exceeding 200 percent of market averages.

The nursing home company has come under fire for alleged patient health care violations, which has led to state entities denying the company’s bids to acquire more nursing homes and has led to multiple wrongful death lawsuits to be filed in Humboldt County in recent months.

“This is absolutely unacceptable especially when the state and federal government is spending $500 million dollars to care for our state’s most vulnerable in Brius facilities,” McGuire said to the Times-Standard on Wednesday. “We need to hold this corporation accountable.”

Brius Healthcare has expressed dissatisfaction with the reimbursement rates it receives from the state for treating MediCal patients.

The company temporarily stopped accepting MediCal patients into its Humboldt County nursing homes in 2015 while it disputed reimbursement rates with the North Coast’s MediCal provider, Partnership HealthPlan of California. Partnership HeathPlan agreed to increase reimbursement rates to Brius and other long-term skilled nursing facilities.

In the latter half of 2016, Brius Healthcare used its plans to close of three Humboldt County nursing homes to pressure Partnership into providing higher reimbursement rates so as to prevent the closures. Brius Healthcare cited low staffing levels as their reasoning for the proposed closure.

“We are confident we can avoid these closures, but we need PHP to start paying its fair share and allow us to attract full-time staff to meet our patients’ needs,” Friedman told the Times-Standard in September.

Partnership declined to increase rates, prompting Brius to announce its intention to cancel its contract with Partnership. However, this announcement was shortly retracted after it became clear that the company would lose reimbursement funds. Brius announced in November that it would only be closing one nursing home — Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Eureka — instead of three.

McGuire and Wood said the audit will likely be completed in 2018 and will be made public when it is given to the Legislature. McGuire and Wood said that the findings could result in legislation or, in the worst case scenario, criminal charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office.

To read the remainder of the article click here.

The Brius Jet Watch – 40,000 Feet

 

http://briuswatch.org/jet-paper/

The Jet Papers

In February of 2017, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) published a report (“Misplaced Priorities at 40,000 Feet”) about a luxury jet operated by a Brius-related company for the benefit of Brius’ owner and CEO, Shlomo Rechnitz.

The following are links to many of the source documents used to prepare the report. All of the documents are public records obtained from state and federal government agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, the California Secretary of State, and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Brius LLC Gulfstream G-IV Documentation

(1) Aircraft Bill of Sale (AC Form 8050-2) memorializing the purchase of the Gulfstream G-IV jet by SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated September 20, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(2) Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1) submitted by SR Administrative Services, LLC and signed by Shlomo Rechnitz. Dated September 20, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(3) Aircraft Registration Renewal Application (AC Form 8050-1B) submitted by SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated July 12, 2016. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(4) Flight Data covering the period from September 2013 through July 2016, which the FAA provided in electronic “.xls” format. The hyperlinked spreadsheet contains two tabs: (1) “Sheet 1 – modified” and (2) “Sheet 2 – original”. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(5) Loan and Security Agreement by and between Compass Bank and SR Administrative Services, LLC signed by Shlomo Rechnitz and detailing a $3.628 million loan for the purchase of the jet. This document also describes the agreement by which SR Administrative Services, LLC leased the jet to SR Capital, LLC. See page 6 and various pages following the initial signature page, including an attachment entitled “Acknowledgment, Grant of Security Interest and Subordination Agreement by SR Capital, LLC.” Dated September 17, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(6) Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization” (Form LLC-1) for “SR Administrative Services, LLC.” Dated June 3, 2013. Source: California Secretary of State.

(7) Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization”(Form LLC-1) for “SR Capital, LLC.” Dated December 28, 2009. Source: California Secretary of State.

(8) Statements of Information” (Form LLC-12) for “SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated November 9, 2015 and July 12, 2013. Source: California Secretary of State.

(9) Statements of Information” (Form LLC-12) for “SR Capital, LLC. Dated January 28, 2015 and October 6, 2015. Source: California Secretary of State.

(10) Certificate of Status” for “SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated September 14, 2016. Source: California Secretary of State.

(11) Certificate of Status” for “SR Capital, LLC. Dated September 14, 2016. Source: California Secretary of State.

(12) Certificate of Merger” (Form OBE Merger-1) for“SR Capital, LLC,” signed by Shlomo Rechnitz. Dated December 20, 2012. Source: California Secretary of State.

(13) Excerpt from Medi-Cal Cost Report Describing a Brius Nursing Home’s Transactions with SR Capital, LLC. This two-page excerpt is taken from a recent Medi-Cal Cost Report submitted by one of Brius’ nursing homes, Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center (Rosemead, CA), to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). This excerpt offers an example of the kinds of financial transactions between “SR Capital, LLC” (the corporation that operates the jet) and individual Brius nursing homes. On the second page of the document, Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center reports it paid $530,382 to SR Capital/YTR Capital during the 12-month period ended December 31, 2015. In addition, it shows that Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center owed $4,327,952 to “SR Capital, LLC” at the end of 2015. Source: California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

(14) Shlomo Rechnitz, SR Capital, LLC and SR Administrative Services, LLC. This notarized document is excerpted from the 54-page “Loan and Security Agreement by and between Compass Bank and SR Administrative Services, LLC,” which is available in its entirety on this page. It is excerpted here in order to document Rechnitz’ role atop SR Capital, LLC and SR Administrative Services, LLC, the corporations that operate and own the jet. For example, Rechnitz signed this notarized document which identifies him as the “CEO” and “Managing Member” of “SR capital, LLC, a California limited liability company, as the sole member and manager of SR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, LLC, a California limited liability company…” Multiple additional public records confirm Rechnitz’ positions.

SentosaCare – Filipino Nurses – October 2015 – Accountability (or the lack thereof) and Politics

Ben Landa – a Comment to Our Previous PostSentosaCare and Google

LostMessiah – 20.04.17

After reading one of the “glowing endorsements” of Ben Landa we received in the comments to our previous posting, and in an effort to stay true to investigating the voracity of our commenter’s claims that the staff at SentosaCare is happy in their positions, we decided to do as the commenter asked, “Google.”

Much to our chagrin, there were numerous glowing articles about SentosaCare and Ben Landa all of which, unsurprisingly, were posted on SentosaCare’s websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or those of SentosaCare’s affiliates and partners. We also found glowing reviews of Ben Landa, also on his own website, LinkedIn pages and Twitter feeds.  Unsurprising, there were no flowery reports about Ben Landa being a “great guy.”

In fact, among the many things we found on our Google search (completed at the request of the commenter) were a string of lawsuits against SentosaCare, the most chilling of which related to the company’s treatment of its Filipino staff. We were surprised to find a string of repeated accusations dating back to 2004 and elder care issues at Fensterman’s nursing home in 2003 and earlier.  But Fensterman was not the subject of our commenter’s words of praise. We were thus shamed into realizing that not enough has been said about SentosaCare, Ben Landa, Howard Fensterman and the political gamesmanship that has facilitated, if not out rightly endorsed these facilities.

We discovered, thanks to our commenter, that the most interesting and unsettling explanation for the success of these facilities can be found at least as early as 2005. There are certainly numerous articles supporting our repeated contentions that politics and the political generosity of the owners of these homes are like binary stars, functioning because they feed off each other like parasites. Political clout knows no bounds and moral bankruptcy can likely not be crammed down.

The reality of today could not be better described than it was in an article from  2007 by Michael Amon and Ridgely Ochs entitled:

“How a Long Island Nursing Home Empire Got Its Way”

/01/05/how-a-long-island-nursing-home-empire-got-its-way/

Instead of posting that article, which only serves to outline the history of behavior found in our previous post, we decided to post the text of an article found on the website of a South Carolina law firm. While we know nothing at all about this firm, their words speaks volumes.

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT:

In the interest of full disclosure, this posting is not an endorsement of the law firm quoted nor is it an advertisement on behalf of the law firm. We know nothing about the law firm or their services but are simply posting information we found in a Google search. We felt it important to show that we indulged the request of one of our commenters and the results of that request led us here. – LM

 

SENTOSACARE: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE AREN’T PUT FIRST?

POSTED BY CHRISTIAN & DAVIS LLC || 29-OCT-2015

With more than 5000 beds in 25 facilities, SentosaCare, LLC is now the largest nursing home network in the state of New York. However, a quick look into the record of complaints, fines, and violations is enough to make one wonder how SentosaCare is allowed to run one facility, let alone acquire dozens more.

In one particularly harrowing story, a 60 year old patient was placed into a SentosaCare facility to recover from a diabetic emergency. He entered the facility with minor wounds on his foot, and expected them to heal over the six weeks he planned to stay at the home. However, his “recovery” soon led to an emergency hospital visit, as negligence by caretakers led to a severe infection which required amputating his foot.

Why is SentosaCare Being Allowed to Expand?

In New York, prospective buyers of nursing home facilities must pass a “character-and-competence” review before the transaction will be allowed. The Public Health and Health Planning Council is supposed to deny these deals when they find that the facilities have repeat violations which could potentially put the residents at risk. The Council works primarily off of reports and records compiled by the Department of Health.

However, the Department of Health has regularly excluded or failed to report major violations, including more than 20 federal fines which SentosaCare facilities have been ordered to pay. Inspections reports have indicated numerous instances of residents wandering away, and in one case, freezing to death. Prosecutors and inspectors alike have found that staff members have falsified records. Despite this, the Department of Health found that SentosaCare homes provide a “substantially consistent high level of care.”

We Fight for Those Who Can’t

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of instances of improper patient care in SentosaCare facilities. While this group appears to be particularly troubled, similar abuse and neglect unfortunately occurs in facilities around the country. The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general has even stated that one-third of all Medicare patients suffered preventable harm in a nursing home within one month of being admitted for short-term rehab. For more information, read this recent ProPublica article.

At Christian & Davis, LLC, our Greenville nursing home abuse attorneys are proud to stand up for the rights of the elderly. We believe that when you put your loved one into a nursing home, they deserve to receive a high standard of care – and the law is on our side. If someone you love has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of nursing home staff, contact our firm immediately to pursue justice.

Hold negligent or abusive nursing homes accountable for their actions. Call (864) 408-8890 today for experienced, compassionate counsel.