California Sues Nursing Home Chain, Saying It Manipulated Ratings System

By Jessica Silver-Greenberg: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The lawsuit, filed by the state attorney general and other prosecutors, accuses Brookdale Senior Living of gaming Medicare’s ubiquitous star-rating system.

California prosecutors sued the country’s largest chain of senior living communities on Monday, accusing the company, Brookdale Senior Living, of manipulating the federal government’s nursing-home ratings system.

The lawsuit was filed by California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, and other prosecutors against Brookdale, which operates multiple nursing homes in the state.

The lawsuit is among the first of its kind to accuse nursing homes of submitting false information to Medicare’s ratings program. The system assigns stars — one being the worst, five being the best — to the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes.

The system is powered by largely unaudited data submitted by nursing homes, including the amount of time that nurses spend with residents, and in-person examinations by state health inspectors.

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