Authorities arrest nine nursing home workers in New York, bring criminally negligent homicide charges

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Workers at a Long Island nursing home consistently neglected residents, leading to at least one death, while the facility's owners pocketed $60 million in Medicaid payments meant for resident care, according to charges filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Nine people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the charges.

Seven of the arrests involved the case of a 72-year-old woman who died while residing at the facility, Medford Multicare Center for Living Inc., the attorney general's office announced.

Kethlie Joseph, 61, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide for her role in that death, according to Schneiderman's office. Joseph has admitted that she did not read a doctor's order that the resident be hooked up to a ventilator at night, then ignored alarms and pager alerts for more than two hours after the resident stopped breathing, the prosectuors announced.

Other members of the nursing staff have been arrested for failing to respond to the alerts, and for taking actions to cover up the circumstances of the death, according to Schneiderman's office. The facility's licensed administrator and its director of respiratory therapy also have been arrested on criminal charges related to a cover-up.

Schneiderman filed a separate, civil complaint against the owners of the facility, for allegedly turning a blind eye to consistent resident neglect while lining their pockets through “corporate looting.”

“Since opening Medford in 2003, the owners systemically looted the facility by paying themselves at least $60 million, representing 22% of the Medicaid funding they received in that time,” the AG's office stated.

Seventeen Medford nurses and aides have pleaded guilty to neglect and falsifying records since 2003, while the New York Department of Health has cited the facility for 130 regulatory violations, according to the charges.

McKnight's placed a call to Medford's assistant administrator for comment, but that call had not been returned as of press time. 

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