Complaint: “Did Brius CEO falsify licensure applications for nursing homes?”

Did Brius Healthcare CEO Shlomo Rechnitz falsely describe his company’s patient-care track record in nearly two dozen applications to the California agency responsible for licensing nursing homes? Did he perjure himself in the process?

These are some of the questions posed in an October 25 complaint submitted by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) to the California Department of Public Health.

NUHW’s complaint presents copies of 22 applications submitted by Rechnitz since 2014 in which it appears he falsely stated that none of his facilities has ever faced “adverse actions” by government regulators such as having been suspended or decertified by the Medi-Cal Program. Here’s an excerpt from one of Rechnitz’ 22 applications, in which he checked “no” and then signed a statement under penalty of perjury.

At least three of Rechnitz’ nursing homes have been suspended and/or decertified from the Medi-Cal Program due to severe patient-care and other violations, according to details cited in the complaint. NUHW’s complaint includes 157 pages of licensure and other records to support its request for an investigation.

Interestingly, 21 of Rechnitz’ 22 applications containing the allegedly false statements are still under review by the agency. Rechnitz is operating these 21 nursing homes under provisional licenses while the agency reviews his applications for permanent licenses.

So why hasn’t the California Department of Public Health taken action against Rechnitz?

Good question.

It sure sounds like the California Department of Public Health should be taking these matters seriously. For example, the text at the bottom of the above excerpt from Rechnitz’ application reads, in part:

“The information provided on this form is mandatory and is necessary for licensure approval. It will be used to determine individual applicant’s or applicant facility’s ability to provide health services… Failure to provide the information as requested may result in nonissuance of a license or license revocation.”

In addition, Rechnitz signed and dated a statement under penalty of perjury that reads: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the statements on this form and any accompanying attachments are correct to the best of my knowledge.”

In its letter, NUHW asks the California Department of Public Health to investigate Rechnitz’ allegedly inaccurate licensure applications and “and, if confirmed, apply all appropriate sanctions and/or penalties, including license revocation.”

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