Federal government excludes nursing home owner Bob Dean from federal health care programs
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Nine months after Hurricane Ida, the federal government is taking action against Louisiana nursing homeowner Bob Dean.
The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that Dean has been excluded from participation in federal health care programs due to his ownership interest in seven Louisiana nursing homes.
The action follows what unfolded in the town of Independence, Louisiana in the wake of Ida. Over 800 nursing home residents were evacuated to a warehouse there in the wake of Ida, and there were complaints about deplorable conditions, causing the Louisiana Department of Health to rescue the residents.
Early on, some people said they did not know where their loved ones were.
“We had no clue, so at this time, I didn’t know if my mom was dead or alive,” said Renetta Derosia.
Sabrina Cox said at the time, ”Well I came here and I’m not sure. I want us all to get together and find out where our loved ones are and make sure they’re being taken care of?”
In its press release, HHS’ OIG wrote, “The Louisiana Department of Health revoked the facilities’ licenses to operate as nursing homes due to multiple violations of state law that left seven residents dead and hundreds of others neglected and vulnerable following Hurricane Ida in August 2021. As a result, OIG has excluded the nursing homes and their owner.”
And the federal agency said, “State health inspectors made multiple onsite visits and observed residents suffering in inhumane and squalid conditions. Inspectors noted residents sleeping on floor mattresses less than a foot apart near standing water, some were partially undressed or completely naked, and others were calling for help or left alone with full diapers. The building smelled of urine while trash and dirty linens were piling up. Inspectors also noted that Mr. Dean attempted to threaten, intimidate and interfere with their assessment of the site. In the end, seven residents died, and Louisiana revoked their nursing home licenses for multiple documented violations of state law, including cruelty and indifference to the residents’ welfare.”
Dean’s attorney, John McLindon, issued the following statement in response to HHS’ actions:
“We agreed to this months ago. The origin of this exclusion is that the La. LDH is attempting to revoke Mr. Dean’s licenses. We are currently litigating that issue before an Administrative Law Judge here in Baton Rouge. If we are successful in that litigation, then we will be reinstated by the Federal HHS.”
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