State files suit against provider chain over staffing levels, care

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Grane Healthcare Co., which operates 12 nursing homes in Pennsylvania, is being sued for allegedly misrepresenting staffing levels and overstating its capacity to provide proper care.

State Attorney General Bruce Beemer (D) said Grane has violated Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by overstating on its websites and marketing materials its staffing levels and ability to provide proper care.

Beemer also said Grane billed consumers and the state for services that were not provided.

Numerous allegations of wrongdoing emerged, authorities said, after consulting state survey reports and interviewing former employees. They allege that incontinent residents were regularly not changed for hours, residents did not receive showers, excessive use of physical and pharmacological restraints and falsified records.

In a response, Grane Healthcare president Mark Fox said while the company has not had an opportunity to review specific allegations, it believes “the lawsuit is completely unfounded and driven, in part, by a Washington, D.C., law firm who has entered into a contingency fee agreement with the Attorney General's office and stands to obtain significant monetary gain.”  

“We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our employees and we look forward to our day in court,” the company stated.

Eleven of the company's 12 facilities are named in the lawsuit. It seeks restitution for the state and for consumers, along with up to $3,000 for every violation involving a person over age 60.

The Attorney General settled a lawsuit against Reliant Senior Care Holdings in October, and currently also has a case pending against Golden LivingCenters.