lawsuit regarding public nursing home deal
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A settlement with the New York Attorney General’s office will require a Long Island nursing home to pay up to $8.6 million in Medicare and Medicaid restitution and funding for state-mandated changes to staffing levels. 

The agreement — announced by the AG’s office Monday — also requires the placement of an independent healthcare monitor and an independent financial monitor in the facility. They will directly oversee the process of implementing the stipulations of the settlement and monitor for fraudulent financial transactions.

Attorney General Letitia James initially sued Fulton Commons Care Center of East Meadow, NY, in December 2022 following reports of fraud involving payments to third parties, multiple cases of severe patient neglect and sexual abuse and the subsequent coverup of that abuse.

The AG’s office has been active in pursuing legal actions against state nursing homes suspected of illegal activity, but this is the first time the office has successfully placed independent healthcare and financial monitors in a facility as the result of a settlement, a representative of the office told McKnight’s Monday.

The monitors will have the authority to enforce staffing increases and related wage increases, consult in the hiring of any administrators and medical directors, oversee all financial transactions related to implementing the terms of the settlement and reject financial transactions with third parties or consultants that may be deemed fraudulent.

Care and staffing requirements handed down by the healthcare monitor will be funded by three yearly payments of $2 million to a “resident care fund,” as well as an additional $1 million if funds run low.

Owners of Fulton Commons paid themselves nearly $15 million in inflated third-party rental payments between 2018 and 2022, according to a report released Monday by the AG’s office. 

A licensed practical nurse — who has since died of natural causes — was indicted in 2022 for sexually assaulting a resident. The facility’s director of nursing also was indicted for covering up the abuse and has since pleaded guilty and cooperated with the state’s investigation. Fulton Commons itself pled guilty Feb. 28 to falsifying records to cover up abuse allegations. 

Fulton Commons did not respond to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News request for comment Monday.

The facility can be excluded from Medicaid funding if it violates any terms imposed by the Attorney General’s office, and the terms of the agreement will still apply even if the facility is sold.