Hearings Begin On Cold Spring Hills Center For Nursing & Rehabilitation


A hearing in order to appoint a caretaker to Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation began on Sept. 20.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James in December 2022 filed a lawsuit against Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, located in Woodbury, for fraud and mismanagement that led to under-staffing, which ultimately resulted in neglect and harm. According to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General, an investigation by the office found that Cold Spring Hills’ owners “diverted over $22.6 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds from resident care through a fraudulent network of companies that were used to conceal up-front profit taking.”
Furthermore, Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation employees, with the union 1199SEIU, has been picketing, writing letters, attending hearings and visiting Albany in response to a potential loss in benefits. Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation employees picketed outside the facility after hearing the news that they might lose their benefits because the owners of the facility did not make their contractually agreed-to payments into the workers’ health benefit fund. Employees were first notified that their benefits would expire Aug. 25. But the employer paid a partial contribution to extend the benefits to Sept. 15. The benefits has since been extended for another month after another partial payment was made.
A caretaker, as defined by New York public health law, is a person who acts as a fiduciary responsible to the court which appoints them for conserving and preserving the rights and property of the operator of a residential health care facility, while also preserving and providing for the rights of the patients in the facility to care appropriate for their needs in a clean and wholesome environment in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
New York Commissioner of Health James V. McDonald has petitioned Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation and Cold Spring Realty Acquisition LLC for an order to appoint a caretaker.
The petition, by James, alleged that after the proceeding against the nursing home began, the respondent stopped paying the National Benefit Fund of 1199SEIU, which provides certain medical, dental disability and other related benefits.
“Respondent’s decision not to pay the fund fully—triggering a termination notice to Cold Spring Hills employees—and then to make a partial payment that only provided short term relief from a looming termination of benefits, has negatively impacted staff and resident care,” the petition stated.
The petition also stated that as of Sept. 8, the facility owes more than $5 million to the fund, and is obligated to make monthly payments in amounts ranging between $920,000 and $1.1 million.
“On Sept. 1, 2023, the department requested that respondent provide the department with a sworn affidavit regarding respondent’s intent and ability to cure its default to the fund and to maintain future required conditions,” the petition stated. “Respondent responded to the department’s Sept. 1, 2023 letter with only a vague, un-sworn commitment to ‘do [its best] to maintain union benefits’ and its intention to ‘cover these costs in the short term’ without providing any of the details requested by the department.”
The petition then alleged that because the operator of the facility has failed to meet requirements of public health law and the minimum standards for nursing homes, the department has commenced an administrative proceeding to revoke the operating certificate of the operator. A caretaker would then be appointed to stabilize Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, including by ensuring staff will receive all wages and benefits and by employing sufficient staff to care for the residents.


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