Home's troubles span 2 AGs, include 17 convictions
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Since the Medford Multicare Center for Living opened in 2003, the facility has been investigated by the state attorney general and the state health department for falsifying records, neglect, health infractions and injured patients, officials said.
Seventeen employees have been convicted of neglect and falsifying records since 2008 when Andrew M. Cuomo was attorney general, current New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. And, the nursing home has paid at least $32,000 in fines to settle violations issued by health regulators.
Nine of the home's workers were arrested Tuesday, Schneiderman's office said, and its owners were accused of paying themselves $60 million in Medicaid money -- 22 percent of such funding -- since it opened.
Five of the six owners could not be reached for comment. The sixth, Norman Rausman, 49, of Monsey in Rockland County, said, "The truth will come out and the facts will speak for themselves."
The New York State Department of Health, which regulates nursing homes, issued 130 violations to the home for failing to provide adequate care to its residents, state officials said.
In the years when Cuomo was attorney general, his office used hidden cameras and caught employees mistreating residents and forging paperwork to cover up the abuse.
In one instance in 2009, authorities said workers didn't use a required mechanical lifting device to raise a patient from her bed to her wheelchair. The 94-year-old resident suffered a broken leg and died a few weeks later, although the death was not linked to the incident.
In other instances in 2008, investigators found that one resident was not showered for a month; a woman was rushed to the hospital because a nurse had failed to order routine blood tests; and a man was not turned to prevent bed sores.
But Rachael Baez of Medford was visiting her mother, Alta Hernandez, 84, who has been in the nursing home for more than a year. She said her mother hasn't had any issue with care. "I've been very lucky. Everything has been good," Baez said Tuesday.
Richard Mollot of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, an advocacy group, said the fact that it was the attorney general's office that discovered these alleged abuses meant health regulators weren't doing their jobs. "It really points to a failure in the regulatory system," he said.
A Health Department spokesman declined to comment.