Goshen nursing home’s troubles reflect larger for-profit trend

Source: Daniel Axelrod, Times Herald-Record, August 12, 2018

Nurses picketed, state Department of Health inspectors swarmed, and complaints streamed to local elected leaders and the Times Herald-Record in the months after for-profit owners bought the former Elant nursing home in Goshen. Now, nearly a year after the home became Sapphire Nursing and Rehab at Goshen, a Westchester law firm has filed a scathing lawsuit against the business, and the attorneys are seeking class-action status. The plaintiffs, a current resident of the home and the estate of a deceased resident, accuse the owners of slashing staff so deeply that residents often sat in their own waste, begging visitors for bathroom help, meals and care.

… Sapphire’s troubles under its new leadership reflect a larger trend, according to nursing home experts. Facing challenges like inadequate government reimbursements and a lack of self-funded patients, New York’s nonprofit nursing home companies are increasingly selling to commercial operators that cut staff to boost revenue. Trouble began in Goshen when Brooklyn investors Richard Aryeh Platschek, Esther Farkovits, Machla Abramczyk and Robert Schuck acquired the nursing home and three others in Beacon, Newburgh and Wappingers Falls from nonprofit Elant Inc. in September. They immediately began shedding staff in Goshen, which led to a “failure to maintain a safe, clean, comfortable and homelike environment,” according to the state DOH and a state-ordered corrective action plan. As a result, residents were left unattended for hours, medication errors occurred and patients were not kept hydrated, properly nourished and infection-free, according to the DOH. …