A recently filed lawsuit alleges Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center knowingly understaffed to save money.
This case is among 15 class action lawsuits alleging purposeful understaffing at 15 nursing homes around California filed by elder abuse law firm Garcia, Artigliere & Medby and The Arns Law Firm, which represents workers and their families.
Aside from the 98-bed Roseville facility, the 14 other facilities are mainly located in Southern California and the Bay Area.
The Roseville lawsuit, filed on behalf of petitioner Diane Bechtold, a resident at the center, alleges the understaffing is “chronic and intentional” and an “effort to pocket unearned profit.”
“This violation of each resident’s rights was directed and implemented at the mandate of the managers and owners of the facilities, Rockport Administrative Services and Shlomo Rechnitz, and his multiple layers of affiliated companies,” the lawsuit claims.
According to Mark Johnson, from the firm Hooper, Lundy & Bookman PC, representing Rockport, the consulting company provides services to skilled nursing facilities “including oversight of compliance with applicable staffing requirements.”
“Importantly, none of the lawsuits allege any harm to the residents of facilities which Rockport serves,” Johnson said. “Roseville Point Healthcare and Wellness Center … is in full compliance with applicable staffing laws including the increased staffing levels required as of July 1, 2018. In fact, its compliance has been confirmed during standard annual audits conducted by the California Department of Public Health.”
The health department could not immediately provide information about compliance with staffing requirements at the center.
Documents sent by Johnson appear to show the California Department of Public Health reported the Roseville facility had zero days of non-compliance with required staffing levels in 2016. The health department could not immediately authenticate the documents.
Glaser Weil trial lawyer Jill Basinger, representing all of the defendants in the lawsuits except Rockport, claims the nursing facilities “not only maintain the state required 3.2 nursing hours per patient day, they even exceed them.”
Whereas previously, 3.2 nursing hours per patient day was the minimum numeric staffing ratio required in a skilled nursing facility under state law, as of July 1, 2018, the new minimum required ratio is 3.5.
The terminology “hours per patient day” refers to the amount of direct nursing care hours needed to care for a hospital or facility’s patients.
Adequate staffing is a right ensured to patients in a skilled nursing facility under California’s Patient’s Bill of Rights.
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Lawsuit alleges Roseville nursing home and others understaffed on purpose – to increase profits