Video: Is Your Loved One Safe in a Brius Nursing Home?

August 22nd, 2016

Brius Healthcare, California’s largest nursing home company, has an alarming track record. The secretive corporation has been investigated, cited, penalized, and even decertified by government agencies, criticized by consumer organizations, and sued by nursing home residents and their families over its chronic resident care failures, legal violations, and even resident deaths.

Los Angeles’ Long-Term Care Ombudsman told the Sacramento Bee that conditions inside Brius’ nursing homes demonstrate a “flagrant disregard for human life.”

Media reports, lawsuits, and caregiver testimonials allege that Brius understaffs and underfunds its nursing homes — with dire results for its frail and elderly residents.

An investigative report by the Sacramento Bee revealed Brius skilled nursing facilities “were tagged with nearly triple as many serious deficiencies per 1,000 beds as the statewide average in 2014, according to the latest figures from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”

The California Attorney General calls Brius a “serial violator of rules within [California’s] skilled nursing industry.” A class action lawsuit filed by a former Brius nursing home resident alleges that Brius and its owner, Shlomo Rechnitz “chronically understaffed their facilities with an inadequate number of staff to carry out the function of their facilities” and “did not devote sufficient financial resources to protect the health and safety of residents and ensure resident rights were not violated, and instead diverted those resources to create ill-begotten profits.”

NUHW-represented caregivers at Brius facilities have gone public with their concerns. Speaking to the Marin Independent Journal, caregivers involved in a labor dispute at Brius’ San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center (Marin County, CA) address the impact that short-staffing and a lack of resources has for elderly and disabled patients.

But holding Brius accountable is no easy task. The corporation, which owns as many as 81 California facilities and controls one of every 14 nursing home beds in the state, goes to great lengths to conceal its identity from consumers and the public. Brius does not brand its facilities with its corporate name; neither Bruis nor Shlomo Rechnitz appear in the California Department of Public Health’s database of skilled nursing facilities. Instead, Brius manages its operations through a complex web of more than 130 companies, each with a different name, that buy and sell products and services from one other.