The Rome News Tribune reported on the ongoing trial of George Houser. The linked article summarizes another administrator testifying about deficiencies cited by state regulators and bills for food and other items that were not being paid. Greenway testified that lab work could often not be done, garbage sometimes piled up and she and other staff members paid for food because the bills had not been paid on the items. The former administrator at the facility testified about “tags,” which are deficiencies noted by the state. Once nursing homes are tagged with deficiencies, they must submit a correction plan and a follow-up visit is scheduled to make sure the plan has been followed. Greenway also testified that the Mount Berry facility was tagged twice for a violation involving the Residents’ Trust Fund, which comes from the resident’ Social Security benefits and sometimes from family members. The funds are supposed to be available to residents to use for expenditures.
Houser, the former owner of Forum Healthcare Group, which owned two facilities in Rome and one in Brunswick, is on trial in U.S. District Court in Rome, accused of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare out of $30 million between 2004 and 2007 and willfully failing to pay taxes.
According to the federal indictment, residents of the Housers’ nursing homes lived in substandard conditions, with broken air-conditioners and leaky roofs, while the couple raked in millions of dollars, purchasing homes, property and expensive cars. According to the indictment, Houser submitted false or fraudulent claims to Medicare and Georgia Medicaid that were “worthless.”