Having lunch this week with a public servant who investigates heath care fraud, I was struck once again by his descriptions of abuses that nursing home residents too often suffer, many of which our whistleblower attorneys had also encountered in past cases.
It is damnable enough to steal federal and state taxpayer funds that are supposed to pay for care of our elderly through Medicare and Medicaid. It is another level of depravity to ignore our elder citizens’ medical needs–and even to steal from patient accounts–for personal gain.
The Attorney General of Massachusetts this past week announced that two such persons–brothers who operated nursing homes–have pleaded guilty to charges based on stealing funds and neglecting nursing home patients.
Joel K. Logan and Todd Logan reportedly pled guilty to charges of Larceny, Medical Assistance Fraud by a Provider, Conspiracy, Fiduciary Embezzlement, and Neglect of Patients in Long-Term Care Facilities.
According to the State, the Logans and their nursing home corporations admitted that they converted Medicaid funds to their own personal use, and failed to provide patients in the homes necessities such as food, medicine, sanitary conditions and bed linens. The defendants reportedly used the money for personal expenditures, including “horse racing activities and luxury boats.”
They also admitted to “stealing $82,000 from the statutorily regulated Patients Needs Accounts (PNA)” for three of the nursing homes, to embezzling funds from the employer-sponsored 401(k) Plan, and to other misconduct, according to the State.
Because nursing home residents are so vulnerable, they depend on honest persons to “blow the whistle” on such abuses. We commend those who helped stop these abuses–and urge others to speak out to protect our elderly citizens and taxpayer funds.