Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Detailed Record Enforcing the Law and Demanding Accountability For Nursing Home Operators and Healthcare Executives
May 12, 2020: Shapiro announces the Attorney General is investigating Pennsylvania nursing homes for criminal neglect of residents. This includes a special email to which people can report criminal complaints and reports of neglect in PA nursing home communities.
February 25, 2021: The former administrator of a Mount Lebanon skilled nursing home was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, health care fraud and obstruction of a federal audit. The indictment alleges that Susan Gilbert, formerly administrator of Mount Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, directed employees to falsify records to give the appearance that the facility was meeting federal and state staffing requirements. Josh Shapiro’s office announced the indictment along with the federal agencies and participated in the investigation that led up to it.
June 2, 2021: Nursing home manager Chaim “Charlie” Steg of St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care pled guilty to three counts of reckless endangerment. He “disregarded resident care by routinely and recklessly understaffing his nursing home…” leading to three deaths. Steg faces up to 23 months of house arrest, three years of probation, and a five-year ban on interacting with health care facilities.
On top of that, Steg will be forced to pay a $15,000 fine and restitution to the families of the victims. St. Francis will be audited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and, as a result of a civil settlement, be required to maintain a higher minimum-staffing level.
This investigation began in 2017 when nurses at nearby Mercy Catholic Medical Center alerted authorities about the deteriorating condition of patients.
“Shapiro put other nursing facilities on notice: His office is paying close attention to their behavior… We have several criminal investigations ongoing into nursing homes during the time of COVID, and we will be making the announcements that we can make relatively shortly on that.”
September 10, 2021: Shapiro settled a case brought against Golden Living Centers for $6 million, most of which will go to PA’s nursing home inspection system. The case was based on allegations that Golden Living Centers’ allegations were misleading because they advertised a certain standard of care and then deliberately understaffed their facilities.
August 5, 2022: Shapiro’s office indicts five individuals and two nursing home facilities in Pittsburgh on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and health care fraud. The two nursing facilities operating in Western Pennsylvania were Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services, LLC d/b/a Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and Mt. Lebanon Operations, LLC d/b/a Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.
“Through our joint investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we found that Brighton and Mt. Lebanon’s senior administrators used two criminal schemes to take advantage of federal programs and make extra money while putting residents at risk,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
“These charges today represent a dereliction of duty to report accurate information, criminal schemes designed to manipulate the system, and above all else, companies and individuals that put profits above truthful reporting. I am proud to stand with our federal partners and in unison say, we will not stand by while companies or those who run them break our laws and put people’s safety at risk.”