I read this lengthy front page article from the Washington Post and it was a slog. Shlomo Rechnitz has received bad press regarding his nursing home business, but whether his homes are worse than average is not clear. Nursing home patients tend to need more care than can be affordably and economically and sustainably delivered to them, so any investigation of almost any nursing home, I’d suspect, would show deficiencies.
The largest for-profit nursing home operator in California took control of his first home in 2006 in a Los Angeles suburb that calls itself “the city of opportunity.” Over the next decade, he built a sprawling network of facilities from San Diego to the state’s northern coast.
The chain known as Brius Healthcare received more than $800 million from Medicare and Medicaid in 2018 to care for thousands of elderly residents in about 80 nursing homes. Instead of relying upon outside vendors, Brius pursued a business practice long used by a majority of for-profit nursing homes nationwide: paying related companies for goods, services and rent.
More than 70 percent of the country’s nursing home providers use operating funds to pay themselves through so-called related parties — companies they or their family members partially or wholly own. In 2018, Brius nursing homes paid related parties $13 million for supplies, $10 million for administrative services and financial consulting, and $16 million for workers’ compensation insurance, state records show. The homes also sent a total of $64 million in rent to dozens of related land companies…
Watchdog groups are also pressing for legislation in California, where few providers have drawn as much scrutiny Brius Healthcare. The operation, primarily owned by Shlomo Rechnitz, has for years found itself in the public eye, questioned by state regulators, prosecutors and plaintiffs’ attorneys about its business practices and quality of care. Staffing levels and health and safety ratings at dozens of the homes in recent years have fallen below the state average, federal data shows, and lawsuits alleging poor patient care have drawn headlines.