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Lawsuit targets Pittsburgh-based nursing home operator

Chain has one facility in Harrisburg

The parent of a Harrisburg-based skilled nursing facility has been accused of failing to provide basic services to its residents in a lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer.

Pittsburgh-based Grane Healthcare Co. operates Colonial Park Care Center in Harrisburg, one of 11 Grane locations involved in the lawsuit.

The skilled nursing home chain is alleged to have violated state laws covering unfair trade practices and consumer protection law because it is not providing the services to residents that it claims to in its marketing efforts.

After an investigation, which included interviews with nursing home staff, the attorney general found that Grane was limiting the number of certified nursing assistants on duty at its facilities, which resulted in the staff being unable to deliver basic care to residents.

Staff members were leaving residents unchanged and wet in bed for hours, were not helping them to the bathroom in a timely fashion and were not ensuring residents were fed, among other things, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit aims to stop Grane from engaging in the “allegedly deceptive and unlawful business practices it is accused of,” and it seeks restoration for consumers and the commonwealth, as well as $1,000 per violation of the consumer protection law, or up to $3,000 for every violation involving a person 60 years of age or older, a news release said.

Grane said that it has not had the opportunity to review the specific allegations in the complaint, but believes the lawsuit is completely unfounded.

“We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our employees, and we look forward to our day in court,” Grane said in a prepared statement.

Grane is the third nursing home chain recently to face legal action from the state.

Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC, which has subsidiaries that operate as Golden Living Centers, still faces a pending case from the state that involves 25 facilities.

Reliant Senior Care Holdings, Inc. recently settled with the state for $2 million.

State regulators are using some of the money from the Reliant lawsuit to revamp nursing home rules in an effort to boost quality of care, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced in October.

A Nursing Home Quality Improvement Task Force was formed, and over the next several months the department will work with lawmakers to revise regulations and recommend laws to change nursing home oversight.

Lenay Ruhl

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