Georgia-based Company with Troubled History and Abuse Reports Selected as $159 Million Contractor for Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

May 23, 2023

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the Maryland State Spending Board and Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the Georgia based PruittHealth a four year contract to run the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The contract marked the company’s first venture into the state of Maryland with a one year extension option. (The one-year renewal option shows a price tag of $39,288,000)

This comes after Governor Moore fired the contractor HMR Maryland LLC running the state’s veterans home over abuse and neglect allegations in March of 2023. It was noted the state paid HMR Maryland LLC hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to oversee management and operations since 2002.

However, investigations revealed PruittHealth currently runs homes in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and a review of PruittHealth’s facilities revealed 17 of their Georgia based nursing homes have one star ratings and 3 facilities in North Carolina have been flagged for abuse.

A South Carolina law group stated they have represented families with 10 cases in the last 10 years that involved “really bad bedsores, falls with injuries, things of that nature that tent to fall back on not havving sufficient staffing to meet the needs of the residents.”

Since 2020, PruittHealth facilities have incurred more than 1.2 million in fines, and in 2021 the company settled a 4.2 million whistleblower suit with the U.S. Department of Justice 

Toby S. Edelman, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Medicare Advocacy questioned whether Maryland had done its due diligence in finding another provider, given what she has read about PruittHealth over the years. Edelman stated “Did they really look into this out of state corporation they had no experience with to make sure that chain would would do a good job for Maryland veterans and their families?”

Carter Elliott IV, a spokesperson for Governor Moore issued the following statement. “PruittHealth emerged as the strongest contender. Especially given their experience not only operating veteran retirement homes, but also in stepping in to right similar situations.”

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs released the following.

Who is the new contractor taking over the management contract at Charlotte Hall? On May 10, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs signed a new contract with PruittHealth, an organization with more than 50 years of experience providing quality health care. PruittHealth is a family-owned organization and manages more than 105 nursing homes and 6 veterans homes throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Ten of their locations were recently recognized as a Best Nursing Home for 2022-23 by U.S. News & World Report. All the veterans’ homes under PruittHealth management are recipients of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for meeting the highest safety and quality health care standards. The department is continuing to work in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Maryland Department of Health, and St. Mary’s County Health Department to ensure a smooth transition from the current management contractor to a new one.

PruittHealth is committed to retaining as much staff as possible during this transition, ensuring that nursing staff are able to maintain relationships with their residents and patients. PruittHealth will take over management of Charlotte Hall on June 6, 2023.

Is Charlotte Hall open to new admissions? Charlotte Hall is continuing operations. During this transition period, however, Charlotte Hall is not receiving new admissions until PruittHealth is in place. When we feel sufficient progress has been made in improving performance, we will reopen admissions.

Will Charlotte Hall residents have to move or reapply for admission? No, residents will not have to move or reapply for admission to Charlotte Hall. The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring a seamless transition between service providers and caregivers for residents.

Will quality evaluations continue? Yes – PruittHealth will be conducting their own baseline wellness assessments of the residents. When PruittHealth takes over the management of a nursing home, they implement a triage approach to turning a facility around. This means they deal with the safety and well-being of the residents first and foremost, then staff education and other pressing matters. Care and safety of the residents always comes first.

Who can I contact if I have questions? Reach out to Cathy Attick, Quality Assurance Nurse: [email protected]

***More information will be provided when it becomes available**