California's largest nursing home operator faces government crackdown

A “crackdown” on California's largest nursing home operator has its owners crying foul against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to local reports.

CMS has decertified six nursing homes out of more than 1,200 operating in California since 2010. Half of those are owned by California's largest nursing home operator, Brius Healthcare Services. The decertifications are just part of the long list of lawsuits, investigations and regulatory fines facing the company, according to a recent investigation by the Sacramento Bee.

Brius owns 81 nursing home facilities throughout California, 59 of which were considered “distressed” and on the verge of decertification or closure when they were first purchased by Brius and its owner, Shlomo Rechnitz. Currently the company owns 1 in 14 nursing home beds in California.

Rechnitz told the Sacramento Bee that the unprecedented crackdown against his company was “shocking.”

“All of a sudden, we show up to court one day and there is an emergency motion that refers to us as a quote-unquote serial violator of laws,” Rechnitz said. “It basically makes us look like the Charles Manson of the nursing home business.”

The company has faced a variety of fines, including one facility receiving $20,000 and a citation after a resident with a history of schizophrenia, anxiety disorder and involuntary psychiatric holds left the facility and committed suicide by lighting herself on fire in November.