A struggling New England nursing home provider says it is working with federal regulators to resolve what it says are $6 million in outstanding employee health insurance claims.
Athena Health Care Systems has also reached an agreement with an underpaid temporary staffing agency and is rebuilding its staffing levels, according to a statement provided by the company. McKnight’s Long Term Care News Tuesday.
The company said it has been able to “significantly reduce facility staffing” at its more than 40 long-term care facilities by hiring its own personnel.
“The patients and families we serve, our valued employees, and the entire Connecticut community should be assured that Athena will continue to meet the present and future long-term care needs,” the statement said.
The company has plants in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Officials in the three states have been investigating after six human-resources agencies filed a lawsuit in Connecticut alleging the company owed more than $142,000 in back pay. A separate lawsuit seeks more than $2 million in outstanding debts Athena owes the Lifeline Staffing Agency, the Connecticut Mirror reported Sunday.
ClaimDOC LLC filed a federal lawsuit against the company alleging that Athena failed to pay more than $6 million in employee health claims.
“We also pay a substantial amount for health insurance claims that are now current and compliant,” the Athena statement said, adding that it was working with the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Athena recently agreed to pay a $1.75 million fine to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for allowing people with substance abuse problems into its facilities without the ability to properly care for them, which resulted in ” Repeated overdose.” The company is still facing a wrongful-death lawsuit from the family of a resident who died after being beaten by a roommate with a walker.