When a change in ownership within some of the largest players in the nursing home industry is described in the news as a “blockbuster move”; and when an earnings call to investors raises the specter of “even further upside potential” without any mention of superior care, quality of life, increased standards, greater accountability and better medicine, it is not nursing care. It is a different animal altogether, the savage world of publicly traded horse-trading.
It is worth noting here, that some of the parties cited in the article below are owners and operators of some of the worst rated nursing and rehabilitation facilities throughout the United States. Thus, shareholders to whom this article was addressed, are to some extent investing in substandard care. That’s just one part of the human tragedy. Another part of the human tragedy, cited in an earlier article below, tacitly admits that one methodology for adding shareholder value is manipulating the more lucrative sides of benefits from acute care patients “who also come with more lucrative Medicare and private insurance coverage than the typical long-term nursing home resident on Medicaid.” Statements like that should upend the comfort of Medicare and private insurance carriers.
New York’s now infamous corporate immunity law for nursing home executives has been placed on the legislative docket for repeal. The law, slipped into last year’s budget by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, shielded nursing homes from liability as they were forced by the governor to accept patients presumed to have COVID into their facilities.
Last Spring, while the national media was celebrating Cuomo, The Daily Poster helped break open the story of Cuomo passing the law after receiving huge campaign donations from the corporate group pushing it. As The Daily Poster reported earlier this week, the law has shielded administrators and executives from liability for a wide range of negligence claims, even those that don’t appear to be directly related to COVID.
A health care lobby group hired Trump’s former lawyer and gave millions to Democrats — now criminal nursing home and hospital execs may get special protections from COVID lawsuits.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday released new legislation that would make New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s corporate immunity statute the law of the land in every state in America — the second time in two months that Senate Republicans have spliced Cuomo’s controversial provision into their proposed coronavirus response legislation.
The GOP’s inclusion of a special liability shield for health care industry executives represents a victory for the powerful New York lobby group that has been paying Donald Trump’s former lawyer to directly lobby the White House on its behalf — and that has been been funneling millions of dollars to congressional Democrats during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to federal records reviewed by Too Much Information (TMI).
In April, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) drafted the original provision shielding health care industry officials from COVID-related lawsuits, and pushed it through the New York legislature with the support of Cuomo, whose political machine received more than $1 million from the group. Opponents charged that the law repealed a critical deterrent to corporate misbehavior and effectively rewarded executives at nursing homes where thousands of elderly residents were killed by the coronavirus.
Under pressure, New York lawmakers subsequently limited the scope of the liability shield in their state. However, GNYHA’s president last month told state legislators that his organization was pushing a national version of the legislation in Washington, where it has spent $1.2million on lobbying this year.
In July, the Senate GOP included the same health care executive immunity language in their broader COVID-related stimulus proposal. McConnell’s new legislation shows that GNYHA’s sustained lobbying campaign has continued to pay off: The Republican leader copy and pasted the New York law into the so-called “skinny” coronavirus relief legislation his office released yesterday.
Bill Reflects Push From Trump as GNYHA Employs Trump’s Former Lawyer
cConnell’s new legislation reflects the Trump administration’s push for a liability shield at the same time that GNYHA has hired Trump’s former lawyer and prolific GOP fundraiser Albert Pirro Jr as a Washington lobbyist.
Pirro is a long-time personal friend of the president — their relationship began thirty years ago when Trump hired him as a real estate attorney. He is the ex-husband of Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro and was once sentenced to twenty-nine months in federal prison for tax offenses.
Federal records show Albert Pirro has been directly lobbying the executive office of the president and other White House offices on behalf of GNYHA. The records say he has been lobbying on Medicare issues and do not say he has been lobbying on the corporate immunity issue.
Pirro has only been filing disclosures as a Washington lobbyist since 2017, when Trump became president. GNYHA — which is one of only three Pirro lobbying clients in Washington — has paid Pirro’s firm nearly $2.3 million since hiring him in 2017.
The New York Times recently reported that a number of nursing home companies, some of which have seen spikes in deaths due to COVID-19 along with allegations of mismanagement, have been recruiting Trump allies to lobby on their behalf in DC to secure relief funding, tax breaks, and a liability shield.
People Should Be Outraged, Rabbi Feiner Settles Suit with the SEC; but it is Hard to Imagine any Sense of Remorse Given Comments by his Attorney to Crains
Crain’s Chicago Business reported the below information about the SEC settlement with Rabbi Zvi Feiner and the associates who swindled fellow Jews out of millions. But just to throw salt in the wound, the attorney representing Feiner and FNR, Mr. Ariel Weissberg a respected Chicago attorney, in his comments stated that his client doesn’t have the financial means to pay the SEC fines (or presumably to repay his victims). We wonder how much his attorney is getting paid to have thrown that salt in wounds of Feiner’s victims. This is not intended to in any way malign an attorney who did well by his client.
Should there not be a sense of outrage?
There is something very, very wrong with the statements made by Feiner’s attorney throughout the entire article, but perhaps the last paragraph speaks volumes about the righteous indignant response of the defendant. The last paragraph in the article reads as follows:
Feiner settled two civil suits, even though one ended in a judgment in his favor, Weissberg said. “It was the right thing to do,” he explained. “In the Jewish Orthodox community, that’s what we aim for. . . .There’s a higher authority that needs to be answered.”
Really? In the Jewish world we should not be committing these crimes at all. There is nothing about this entire incident, lasting years, that reflects “the right thing to do.”
A Rabbi, someone who had the respectability of his community, should be held to an almost unachievable standard of decency. Rabbi Feiner used the respect of those around him to lure them in and then he financially harmed his investors.
A braggadocios statement saying that the SEC fines will not be met because the Rabbi doesn’t have the financial means (as he apparently spent or repatriated that money to another country) should be leaving everyone with a really sour taste.
It is time that the Orthodox community remove the Hasmachut (Rabbinical Ordination) of those who commit crimes against the Jewish community. If, indeed, we are all looking to the same “higher power.”
A Chicago rabbi and a business associate settled charges they operated a Ponzi scheme that triggered a $146 million default, the biggest ever for a federally insured loan program for nursing homes. Still at issue is how much the rabbi, Zvi Feiner, will pay.
Feiner, Erez Baver and their Skokie firm, FNR Healthcare, were accused by the Securities & Exchange Commission of defrauding an elderly Holocaust survivor and other members of Chicago’s Orthodox Jewish community. They siphoned off at least $11.5 million raised from 62 or more investors to buy nursing homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the Midwest, according to a complaint filed Sept. 19 in federal court here.
Feiner, 49, is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and sole owner of FNR. Without telling investors in limited liability companies, according to the complaint, he sold facilities owned by other LLCs and used at least $9 million in proceeds to pay other investors and lenders. Baver, 39, is FNR’s executive vice president. He and his company, Cedarbrook Management, received more than $2.5 million for personal use, the filing said.
While Baver and Cedarbrook have agreed to pay back about $2.25 million and a civil penalty to be determined, Feiner and his attorney are negotiating a figure. “It’s going to be a big number,” said Ariel Weissberg, a Chicago attorney representing Feiner and FNR. Whatever it is, Weissberg added, “he won’t be able to satisfy it because he doesn’t have the financial resources.”
Baver’s attorney, Stephen Rosenfeld of McDonald Hopkins’ Chicago office, said he would check with his client before commenting.
Starting in 2010, Feiner solicited funding for 20 LLCs including four cited in the SEC complaint. One of those four, Rosewood Care Centers, operator of a dozen nursing homes and an assisted-living facility in Illinois and St. Louis, was seized last year by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development after defaulting on HUD’s $146 million loan.
NPR [Excertps reprinted from the original to see the original click here.]
Mary Smyth Getty Images
Two reports from the federal government have determined that many cases of abuse or neglect of elderly patients that are severe enough to require medical attention are not being reported to enforcement agencies by nursing homes or health workers — even though such reporting is required by law.
It can be hard to quantify the problem of elder abuse. Experts believe that many cases go unreported. And Wednesday morning, their belief was confirmed by two new government studies.
The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that’s required by law.
One of the studies focuses solely on the possible abuse of nursing home residents who end up in emergency rooms. The report looks at claims sent to Medicare in 2016for treatment of head injuries, body bruises, bed sores and other diagnoses that might indicate physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe neglect.
Gloria Jarmon, deputy inspector general for audit services, says her team found that nursing homes failed to report nearly 1 in 5 of these potential cases to the state inspection agencies charged with investigating them.
“Some of the cases we saw, a person is treated in an emergency room [and] they’re sent back to the same facility where they were potentially abused and neglected,” Jarmon says.
But the failure to record and follow up onpossible cases of elder abuse is not just the fault of the nursing homes. Jarmon says that in five states where nursing home inspectors did investigate and substantiate cases of abuse, “97% of those had not been reported to local law enforcement as required.”
State inspectors of nursinghomes who participated in the study appeared to be confused about when they were required to refer cases to law enforcement, Jarmon notes. One state agency said that it contacted the police only for what it called “the most seriousabuse cases.”
Elder abuse occurs in many settings — not just nursing homes. The second study looked at Medicare claims for the treatment of potential abuse or neglect of older adults, regardless of where it took place. The data were collected on incidents occurring between January of 2015 and June of 2017.
The federal auditors projected that, of more than 30,000 potential cases, health care providers failed to report nearly a third of the incidents to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services, even though the law requires them to make such reports.
“It’s very important that the first person who notices this potential abuse and neglect reports it, because then they can begin the investigative process to determine if abuse or neglect occurred,” says Jarmon. “And if it’s not reported, it can’t be tracked.”
The HHSreport says that Medicare could do a better job of analyzing the data it has on hand. It recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the health care program for older Americans, should periodically examine claims for treatment, looking for diagnoses that suggest possible abuse or neglect, as well as where and when those cases occur.
“You have to be able to get the data to see how bad the problem is,” says Jarmon, “so that “everybody who can take action has it.”
However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which pays for much of the health care for seniors and provides guidance on the reporting required ofhealth care workers and health care facilities, has rejected most of the reports’ recommendations.
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