|One of the nation’s biggest nursing home chains, Extendicare, has agreed to pay $38 million to resolve federal claims that it inappropriately billed for physical therapy and provided such poor care to residents that it was effectively worthless, the Justice Department said on Friday.|
The settlement with Extendicare, which owns about 150 homes in 11 states, is the largest settlement in the department’s history involving a nursing home chain accused of providing substandard care to residents.
Federal prosecutors said Extendicare’s executives did not hire enough trained nurses to care for the patients in 33 of its homes, leading to what they described as “pervasive” problems, including failing to prevent serious falls and head injuries and failing to prevent bed sores.
The care was so inadequate, officials said, that some patients became malnourished and dehydrated and developed infections that led to unnecessary hospitalizations. The claims originated in a federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed in Ohio that accused the chain of poor quality of care.
“These problems stemmed in large part from Extendicare’s business model — a model that was driven more by profit and less by the quality of care it provided,” Joyce R. Branda, an acting assistant attorney general, said Friday.
Extendicare, a Canadian company whose United States headquarters is in Milwaukee, is the seventh-largest nursing home operator in the country, ranked by the...