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.