Settlement reached in care lawsuit against a Marietta nursing home
by Geoff Folsom
January 04, 2013 12:00 AM | 4646 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Attorney General Sam Olens  (MDJ File/Erin Gray)
Attorney General Sam Olens (MDJ File/Erin Gray)
ATLANTA – The owner of a Marietta nursing home has settled with the state and federal governments to resolve allegations that it provided “worthless and inadequate” wound care services to residents at two of its Atlanta-area facilities.

While Golden LivingCenter-Kennestone wasn’t named in the lawsuit, employees there will have to take part in a compliance program that is part of the settlement with the home’s parent company.

The $613,300 settlement with GGNSC Holdings LLC of Plano, Texas, awards $423,544 to the United States government and $189,756 to the state, plus interest and legal fees.

In a statement, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said two nursing homes operating under the “Golden Living” name fraudulently billed Medicaid for substandard nursing services that “tragically, resulted in harm to patients.”

“The nursing home patients depended on Golden Living to provide them with quality wound care services to help them heal, but, instead, were mistreated,” Olens said. “We will not stand for such egregious misconduct by a Medicaid provider.”

Along with Medicaid, the government alleged that GGNSC submitted false claims to Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding the care it provided residents at Golden LivingCenter locations in Dunwoody and Decatur, saying the company allowed “inadequate and worthless monitoring, documentation and prevention and treatment of wounds” between 2006 and 2011. While such violations weren’t alleged at the Golden LivingCenter-Kennestone, the Marietta facility and three others in the area are part of a “corporate integrity agreement” GGNSC has signed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The agreement requires the homes to continue to implement policies and procedures that keep them in compliance with regulations regarding patient care. In its own news release, Golden Living states that it plans to use the agreement to expand its “already robust compliance and reporting program” by focusing on providing training for employees and buying technology that will enhance care and provide documentation supporting that care.”

Golden Living also states the settlement is not an admission of liability and that it “expressly denies and disputes the allegations.”

“In particular, Golden Living steadfastly denies that patients were harmed as claimed in various of these untested allegations, or that the services it furnished were without value to its patients,” the statement reads.

In the statement, Golden Living CEO Dr. Neil Kurtz said that the company agreed to settle because it would rather spend money on patient care and staff than on legal fees needed to respond to the governments’ actions in the investigation.
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