Nursing home CEO pleads guilty
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – The CEO of American Healthcare Management and three St. Louis-area nursing homes have pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud.
As part of the plea agreement Robert Wachter of will pay a
29-thousand dollar fine and spend 18 months in federal prison.
The three nursing homes, Claywest House Healthcare, Oak Forest North and Lutheran Care Center, as well as the management company, will each pay a $180,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway called it a terrible case.
"Patients were being found with ants growing out of them; a patient was beat to death; patients were wandering off from their homes; they were laying in their own filth, not even having their bedding changed," Hanaway said. "And yet the executives of this company were taking more than four million dollars in profits out of this company."
Hanaway says the nursing homes continued to bill Medicare and Medicaid without providing adequate care.
She says it's the first time a CEO of a nursing home operating company has been prosecuted for making staff cuts that led to patient neglect.