A recent article from the Philadelphia Inquirer is shining a spotlight
on a local nursing home owner that profited despite declining care at
its facilities. According to
the article, nursing homes once owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia went from
barely breaking even to becoming some of the most profitable nursing homes
in the region after being bought by Charles-Edouard Gros. One of the nursing
homes included the St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare.
As reported by the Inquirer, Gros-owned nursing homes comprised four of
the area’s five most profitable assisted living facilities. Those
profits, however, were driven by staff cuts and increased acceptance of
sicker patients. As care began to decline, regulators found ample evidence
of neglect and revoked St. Francis’ license, which is a step taken
only in the most serious cases. They also noted an increase in incidents
involving actual harm to residents since the homes were bought by Gros.
In January, officials reported on what they called “extreme”
conditions at facilities like St. Francis, including a lack of nursing
care, wound treatment, and a patient death which occurred during the time
regulators had been conducting their investigation. That patient suffered
from severe bed sores and various infections acquired during her stay
at the nearly 300-bed facility in Delaware County.
Now, the poor quality of care at St. Francis and other facilities owned
by Gros’ Center Management Group is forming the basis of a lawsuit
filed last month. In the suit, the victim’s daughter states that
although a doctor ordered facility staff to adjust the victim’s
position every two hours to prevent bed sores, nursing home staff failed
to follow instructions.
A Pattern of Profits Over People
The lawsuit and recent article are showing just how victims and families
can suffer when those who have a responsibility to care for elderly residents
prioritize profits over people. At a time when Pennsylvania nursing homes
have faced financial challenges, those owned by Gros – including
St. Francis, St. John Neumann Center for Rehabilitation, St. Monica Center,
and Immaculate Mary Center – saw profits climb. Gros’ nursing
facilities in New Jersey, which have not been cited for harming patients
since Gros took ownership, have also seen an increase in profits.
The problem with prioritizing profits over people had big consequences
for residents in their family. This includes Gros’ various actions
to increase profitability, including:
- Staff cuts (overall employment fell 17% at all facilities formerly owned
by the archdiocese state record show).
- Reductions in the number of registered nurses at each facility, with cuts
ranging from 18% to nearly 50%.
- Cuts to the number of certified nursing assistants at all facilities.
- Increases in the number of licensed practical nurses, who earned substantially
less than registered nurses, but do not have as much training and cannot
perform all tasks registered nurses can.
- Flat-lined wages and slashed benefits by 50% an hour, causing many skilled
and experienced staff to search for jobs elsewhere.
While profits rose, the quality of care at these facilities naturally decreased
due to an overall lack of staff, a lack of properly trained and experienced
nurses, and a lack of registered nurses skilled in performing critical
health care duties. As Gros focused on profits, the state health department
received a number of complaints involving low staffing and even mistreatment
of residents by licensed nurses.
The Rights of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Victims
Families who place their trust in nursing homes and the companies that
own and operate them have every reason to expect their elderly loved one
will receive the care and support they need to address existing medical
needs and live happier and healthier lives than they would otherwise be
able to live on their own. Unfortunately, some nursing home operators
put profits over people, and create significant hazards in their facilities
that foster abuse, neglect, injuries, and even death as a result.
As a law firm with extensive experience in representing victims of
nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania, Shrager & Sachs
is readily available to help local residents who would like more information
about their rights and how we may be able to help them seek justice through
civil lawsuits. Whether you or an elderly loved one were injured at any
of the facilities owned by Gros management or another nursing facility,
our Philadelphia nursing home injury attorneys are available to provide
you with a free consultation during which we can discuss your case and rights.
Contact us today to speak with a member of our legal team about a potential nursing
home abuse or neglect lawsuit in Pennsylvania.