Brius Healthcare- Nursing Home
Brius Healthcare, California is the biggest for-profit nursing home chain and is presently facing criticism over its finances after poor inspection scores despite ample resources.
Shlomo Rechnitz, the major owner of Brius Healthcare, started the nursing home conglomerate with a single Los Angeles facility in 2006; since then, the organization has grown to more than 80 sites across California. Brius Healthcare got approximately one billion dollars in funding from Medicare and Medicaid alone in 2018.
A 2014 Sacramento Bee report exposed many of these safety flaws, putting the company under increased regulatory scrutiny. The news report described some of the stories of hardship that inhabitants in houses faced in a multi-part series.
The story noted California’s decertification of three houses in the chain.
Only six of the state’s more than 1200 nursing facilities have been decertified, with Brius owning half of them. According to the Sacramento Bee, Schlomo Rechnitz owns one of every fourteen nursing homes in the state.
Using Nursing Home Businesses as a Means of Finance
Nursing care providers or their families own associated parties or companies. The nursing home uses operational funds to pay related parties for services and transfers funds directly to the operator or their family through a related party. More than 70% of the nation’s long-term care facilities practice this approach.
Although related parties are legal, watchdog groups claim nursing facilities overpay them. In addition to reducing expenses, these facilities limit liability by distributing operational costs.
According to Michael Wasserman, the former CEO of the company that provided administrative support to almost all of Brius’ facilities, Rechnitz’s approach to making financial decisions for his nursing homes “would be made looking at the bottom line rather than what was the right thing to do for the residents.”
Lawsuits against Brius Healthcare
Brius-operated nursing institutions spend almost 40% more per bed than other nursing homes in the state; critics of Rechnitz’s activities claim that this increase in funding stems from a desire to pass the money through linked parties and back to Rechnitz and his family. Brius’s tax returns were shared by five companies: one was a connected party offering financial consulting, and the other four were holding corporations that provided no goods or services.
Boardwalk West Financial Services, which provides financial advice, is owned by Rechnitz to a whopping 99.9%, with his wife Tamar claiming the remaining 1%, according to an inquiry by The Post. Boardwalk got $2.6 million, roughly 1.3 million, which was handed to Rechnitz and Tamar as a cash payout. The four holding firms acquired over $40 million, with Rechnitz and his wife receiving $28 million in distributions.
Nursing Facilities in Brius State
Staffing has been one of the main criticisms leveled against Brius sites across California for their subpar inspection results. The staffing coordinator for one nursing home allegedly was unaware that the state provides compulsory paid leave during the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, instead forcing employees to exhaust all of their unpaid sick and vacation time.
Insufficient staff supervision has resulted in several patients in Brius facilities suffering severe injuries or even passing away. In one instance, a person, aged 57, was able to slip out of the building unnoticed, douse herself in gasoline, and set herself on fire in an alley. She died hours later, and Brius declined to comment on the issue, citing patient confidentiality.
This is just one of the numerous nursing facility negligence and abuse cases filed by Brius in recent years. As the inquiry into Brius Healthcare’s financial practices continues, more light may be shed on the facility’s growing number of negligence complaints.
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