California nursing home to pay $275K to settle allegations it pushed out residents in favor of more profitable patients

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Lakeview Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility in Los Angeles will pay $275,000 in penalties and costs as part of a settlement from a lawsuit that accused the facility of discharging long-term residents to make room for more COVID-19 patients, who are more profitable due to higher Medicare reimbursement payments, the Los Angeles Times reported March 1. 

The lawsuit was brought by the office of the city attorney, Mike Feuer, which alleged the facility unlawfully discharged patients onto the street or into ill-equipped facilities without consulting resident family members. It also claimed the facility failed to provide prescribed medication to chronically ill patients and falsely reported that they had been administered. 

As part of the settlement, the facility will nearly double its nursing staff and allow increased oversight from a performance monitor appointed by the city attorney's office, according to a March 1 statement from Mr. Feuer's office. The monitor will have 24-hour access to patient records, can make unannounced inspections and will remain in place for at least six months. 

"Although Lakeview disputes the underlying allegations, the costs associated with litigating against the City are most appropriately put towards resident care," DJ Weaver, the facility's administrator, told the Los Angeles Times. "Put simply, all Lakeview residents can expect the utmost in care and treatment. Residents have been, and will continue to be, Lakeview's highest priority." 

In 2019, a similar lawsuit settlement between the two parties appointed a performance monitor whose term expired in early February. The latest settlement extends the overseer's term and grants broader oversight powers. The 2019 lawsuit accused the facility of improperly discharging vulnerable residents and failing to meet care quality standards. 

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