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The Department of Justice has filed a False Claims Act complaint against the American Health Fund (AHF), its subsidiary AHF Management Corporation, and three nursing home affiliates, Cheltenham Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (Cheltenham), The Sanctuary at Wilmington Place (Wilmington Place). and Samaritan Care Center and Villa (Samaritan) for providing extremely substandard skilled care services between 2016 and 2018. AHF is a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Dublin, Ohio that owns and controls nursing homes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Cheltenham, a 255-bed nursing home located in Philadelphia; Wilmington Place is a 63-bed nursing home located in Dayton, Ohio; and Samaritan, a 56-bed nursing home located in Medina, Ohio.

In its complaint, the United States alleged that the three AHF nursing homes provided extremely poor quality care that did not meet the required standards of care for various reasons. For example, the United States argued that the respondent’s facilities did not follow proper infection control protocols and did not maintain an adequate level of staff. The United States also alleged that Cheltenham housed its residents in a filthy, pest-infested building; handed out unnecessary medicines to residents, including antibiotics, antipsychotics, sedatives and sleeping pills; failed to protect the personal belongings of residents; subjected residents to verbal abuse; neglected to provide residents with activities or incentives; and was unable to provide the necessary psychiatric care. The United States also alleged that Wilmington Place and Samaritan failed to create and maintain critical medical records, and that Wilmington Place repeatedly provided its residents with unnecessary medications, including antibiotics, neuroleptics, sedatives, and sleeping pills, without guaranteeing that its residents had there were recipes they really needed.

“Nursing homes are expected to provide quality care to their residents, including some of our most vulnerable individuals, and treat them with dignity and respect,” said First Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. . . “The Department will not tolerate nursing homes – or their owners or operating organizations – that abdicate these responsibilities and seek taxpayer funds to which they are not entitled.”

The United States Complaint contains specific allegations of how badly poor care has harmed nursing home residents. For example, the complaint alleged that one Cheltenham resident was hospitalized with a history of self-harm and was hospitalized after cutting his wrists while in the facility. However, when this inmate returned to Cheltenham, the facility again ignored the additional warning signs and failed to provide him with the necessary mental health services. Just weeks after being re-admitted to Cheltenham, a resident committed suicide by hanging himself from a sheet in one of Cheltenham’s showers.

The complaint is the result of efforts by the Commercial Litigation Division of the Fraud Division of the Civil Division, with the assistance of the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The case is handled by fraud lawyers Ben Young and Susan Lynch.

Deed signed United States v. American Health Foundation, Inc.; AHF Management Corporation; AHF Montgomery, Inc. d/b/a Cheltenham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and A.H.F. Ohio, Inc. d/b/a/ The Sanctuary at Wilmington Place and Samaritan Care Center and VillaNo. 2:22-cv-02344 (ED Pa.).

The United States complaint relates to an investigation initiated by the Department of Justice as part of its National Nursing Home Initiative. In March 2020, the department launched an initiative to identify and investigate nursing homes that provide substandard care. The National Nursing Home Initiative reflects the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting our nation’s seniors, coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Senior Citizens Initiative in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Older Justice Initiative supports the efforts of state and local prosecutors, law enforcement, and other older justice professionals to combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation through the development of training, resources, and information. Learn more about the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.

The claims in the complaint are only allegations and there was no determination of liability.

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