Nursing Home Exec’s Prison Sentence a Reminder that Elder Care is Big Business in North Carolina

You’ve got to be careful when selecting a nursing home in Asheville or anywhere else in North or South Carolina. The truth of the matter is that nursing homes are big business. Your loved one’s welfare is typically secondary — sometimes criminally so.

Unfortunately, homes aren’t always what they seem to be and can come with a heap of headaches if you don’t do thorough research before selecting one. Nursing homes are a big business. Be careful with your choice. Unfortunately, you cannot count on the system to have the best interest of your loved ones at heart.
According to Fox Carolina, a former executive of a nursing home was recently sentenced for 5 years and three months in prison for accepting contractors and evading taxes. The Colonial Heights man was also ordered to dish out close to $700,000 in restitution, penalties and federal taxes.

Asheville nursing home neglect attorneys understand that some of these funds, which were accepted by the executive, were funds that were supposed to go toward the nursing homes and toward the residents. Many nursing homes around the country are facing financial problems already as many of them are run as for-profit institutions where resident comfort is secondary to the bottom line.

The executive pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion and two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The 62-year-old executive also admitted to filing false tax returns that did not include more than $400,000 of his ill-gotten income.

He was also the previous director of renovations and maintenance for Medical Facilities of America. This organization runs nearly 50 nursing homes in both North Carolina and in Virginia. He was recently found guilty of demanding kickbacks in exchange for giving various companies construction-related contracts at some of those nursing homes. In addition to these sentences, four separate contractors have been convicted of paying kickbacks to the executive.

The number of residents in nursing homes is expected to increase exponentially with the coming wave of retiring Baby Boomers. Couple that with systematic cuts in state and federal funding, and residents are at increased risk for neglect or abuse.

Tips for Choosing the Best Nursing Home, from USA TODAY:

-Stay close to home. Visits are the biggest influence on the conditions and services of a nursing home. Chose a home nearby to make visits more frequent.

-Get references. Talk with friends, family members and neighbors about their experience with local nursing homes.

-Look into staffing. Make sure that the home is staffed well enough to handle the number of residents. Check the backgrounds of the staff members, too. This information should be on file with the facility.

-Visit before choosing. Stop in during off-business hours to see how things are run when no one’s looking.

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Asheville or elsewhere in North Carolina, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lee Law Offices P.A. to discuss your loved one’s rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation.

More Blog Entries:

North Carolina Nursing Home Neglect: Budget Cuts and Disaster Readiness, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 2, 2012

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse A Problem, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2012

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