Nursing Home Neglect, $60M In Medicare Fraud, Lead to Owners’ Arrest
The owners of a New York nursing home face charges of Medicare fraud and nursing home neglect for stealing public funds meant to improve conditions at the facility they ran. A number of employees have also been arrested on charges of neglect and for their alleged roles in the death of a resident.
The arrests of the owners and a number of employees linked to the Medford Multicare Center for Living were announced this week in a press release issued by the New York State Attorney General’s office.
The state claims that the owners; Mordechai Klein, Henry Rausman, Martin Rausman, Michael Rausman, and Norman Rausman, stole about $60 million in Medicare funds earmarked for facility and care improvements and used that money to enrich themselves instead.
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In addition to the owners, nine employees were also arrested and face criminal charges in association with the death of Aurelia Rios, 72, who died in October 2012. According to the allegations, Rios’ doctor ordered that she be placed on a ventilator, but staff at Medford failed to do so, resulting in her death.
Seven of the employees face charges of covering up her death and two face claims of nursing home neglect. One of the employees, Kelthie Joseph, the nursing home’s respiratory therapist, faces charges of criminally negligent homicide.
Even the administrator of the nursing home, David Fielding, faces charges of trying to cover up details of Rios’ death. State officials claim Fielding and Christine Boylan, director of respiratory therapy, attempted to cover up Rios’ death by hiding computer records from state investigators.
“Today’s arrests and lawsuit send a message that we will not tolerate anyone being neglected or denied life-saving medical treatment while individuals line their own pockets with tens of millions of dollars that Medicaid intended to provide resident care,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a press release. “We must and will do everything in our power to protect our vulnerable nursing home residents from being preyed upon by those who are entrusted with their care, yet fail to fulfill their duties to provide necessary care.”
Charges of nursing home neglect are nothing new to the 320-bed facility. A civil lawsuit filed by the state claims that there have been 5,000 incidents reported in the last six years, and 17 workers at the facility who were licensed and certified have been convicted of falsifying records and neglect since 2008.
The facility will remain open for the time being, said state officials, who claim they have no power to force the nursing home to close at this time.
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