Owners of Nearly Half of Indiana’s Nursing Homes Sued for Refusing to Share Financial Information

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A new lawsuit alleges that eight Indiana hospitals — owners of 250 of the state’s 527 nursing homes — violate state public records laws by withholding information about additional public funds paid to them through the Medicaid system.

The extra Medicaid dollars are distributed to hospitals through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which awards grants based on the number of nursing home residents with Medicaid coverage.

While the money doesn’t have to be spent on nursing home services, an IndyStar Marion County lawsuit says the public should be able to see how and where nursing homes benefit from the program. The newspaper, which previously targeted the complex ownership and funding mechanisms of state nursing homes, alleges that the eight named hospitals “prevent the public from knowing how their tax dollars are being spent.”

Those targeted in the search for financial information are Hancock Regional Hospital, Hendricks Regional Health, Henry Community Health, Johnson Memorial Health, Major Health Partners, Rush Memorial Hospital, Witham Health Services and Riverview Health. None of the hospitals had provided public comments on the lawsuit as of McKnight’s manufacturing time.

Indiana’s supplemental Medicaid funds only support public nursing homes, giving them 50% to 60% more money than private nursing homes in the state receive, according to the IndyStar.

Indiana receives more supplemental Medicaid funding than any other state, the newspaper said. In total, owners of state hospital retirement homes split approximately $825 million Last year. A previous IndyStar survey found about 20 county hospitals acquired more than 90% of Indiana’s nursing homes.

The newspaper alleged that hospitals were diverting funds related to nursing homes to other uses, including hospital construction projects.

Since launching a survey in 2021, 12 hospitals have shared financial information showing how much additional funding they are spending on nursing homes. All eight hospital systems named in IndyStar’s lawsuit declined, citing trade secrets.

“They said disclosing the amount of money they spend on their nursing homes could allow other county hospitals to poach the private management companies they use to operate the facilities,” IndyStar reported to about their denials.

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