In a timely move preceding significant state reforms, Los Angeles-based businessman Shlomo Rechnitz, the proprietor of Brius Healthcare, has successfully obtained new licenses for his California nursing home facilities.
Amid growing concerns about substandard care and understaffing, the owner of a nursing home chain, Shlomo Rechnitz, has come under intense scrutiny. Reports from federal and state inspections, along with testimonies from plaintiffs’ attorneys and media outlets, have shed light on these issues. Several nursing homes owned by Rechnitz’s companies have faced severe penalties, including decertification or the threat of decertification, resulting in the loss of vital Medicare and Medi-Cal funding.
One such instance was the closure of Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre near Fresno, following the tragic death of a 75-year-old resident. A thorough investigation revealed gross negligence, as staff members had unintentionally left a foam sponge used in dressing a mastectomy wound inside the resident’s body, leading to a fatal blood infection. State authorities discovered additional grave problems, including toilets overflowing with fecal matter, which further contributed to the facility’s closure.
In May 2018, the State Auditor’s office drew attention to Brius Healthcare, owned by Rechnitz, for its higher rate of federal deficiencies and state citations compared to other nursing home facilities in California. Rechnitz acquired 18 Country Villa-branded nursing homes in 2014 through bankruptcy court. Despite filing change-of-ownership applications, the state left them pending, allowing Rechnitz to continue operating without a formal license. While this practice is not technically illegal, a new law aimed at closing this licensing loophole will go into effect on July 1. However, the law primarily focuses on new license applications and does not fully address the existing facilities that have operated in a legal gray area for years.