US Owner of Fla. nursing home where eight died has history of fraud charges

05:50  14 september  2017
05:50  14 september  2017 Source:   MSN

Manager of nursing home where 8 died has been charged before

  Manager of nursing home where 8 died has been charged before MIAMI — The manager of a Florida nursing home where eight people died following Hurricane Irma has a history of health-care fraud accusations.Federal court records show the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami filed civil charges in 2004 against Dr. Jack Michel and Larkin Health Systems, among others. That company owns The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had eight patients pronounced dead Wednesday.In 1997, before Michel owned Larkin, federal prosecutors say he was part of a kickback scheme that involved paying doctors for referrals and admission to Larkin Community Hospital.

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Some boats were spared after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.© Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS Some boats were spared after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - The owner of the nursing facility where eight people died Wednesday during a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma has a history of health care fraud charges.

Dr. Jack Michel in 2006 settled claims after he and five others were accused of agreeing to send patients to his Miami hospital, Larkin Community, for unnecessary treatment, according to the Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors said that Michel received kickbacks as part of the deal and that some of the patients came from assisted living facilities that he owned.

The Latest: 10th patient dies from Florida nursing home

  The Latest: 10th patient dies from Florida nursing home  The Latest on the deaths of patients at a Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma (all times local):1:25 p.m . Officials say a 10th patient has died from a Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma.Hollywood police said Thursday in a news release that 94-year-old Martha Murray died Wednesday. They said her death was related to the problems at the facility following Irma. The first eight patients from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died Sept. 13, three days after Irma struck. The ninth died Tuesday.

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Larkin Community Hospital is affiliated with The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home, where three men and five women died Wednesday.

Michel declined to comment about the deaths or the fraud charges when contacted Wednesday.

Michel bought Larkin Community Hospital in 1998, court records show. Prosecutors said the illegal agreements took place from 1997 to 1999.

Michel, Larkin Community Hospital and three others paid $15.4 million to settle the charges, according to the Department of Justice.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, 1200 N. 35th Ave. in Hollywood, was part of Larkin Community Hospital's expansion into Broward County. The hospital bought the nursing home through a bankruptcy auction in June 2015.

The 152-bed nursing home had speech, occupational and physical rehabilitation services when it was purchased, according to a Larkin Community Hospital news release at the time.

"This acquisition represents another step in the evolution of our hospital into an integrated delivery system," Michel said in the release. "We look forward to making the enhancements necessary to convert Hollywood Hills into a 5-star facility to serve the needs of our community."

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is currently rated two starts in Medicare's five-star ranking system.

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

Florida suspends license of nursing home over Irma deaths .
<p>Florida officials have suspended the license of a nursing home that had nine patients die after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning.</p>The Agency for Health Care Administration said Wednesday that it suspended the license of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

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