Last week, KELOLAND investigates reported that members of the same family that operated a chain of failed nursing homes in South Dakota are getting millions in federal pandemic money.
Despite not paying their bills in South Dakota and at least six other states, the owners of Skyline Healthcare, Joseph, Rosie and Louis Schwartz of New Jersey, continue to have ownership in homes across the nation.
Schwartz is part owner of a New Jersey home that came under fire for piling up bodies in a make-shift morgue when the coronavirus pandemic hit. While the feds fined the New Jersey home for health and safety issues, the government still awarded Schwartz’s two New Jersey homes nearly $3 million in pandemic assistance.
That’s not sitting well with people who were left with unpaid bills in South Dakota when Skyline pulled out of the state in 2018.
Lori’s Pharmacy in Groton, South Dakota filled medications for nursing home residents when it was under Skyline. Skyline still owes the pharmacy more than $1,800.
“I know that’s peanuts compared to what all the employees went through. But there’s no way to find them to know where to send the bill. It’s just like they vanished. When we saw that they were awarded millions of dollars in COVID money, how on earth does that happen and why can’t they pay their bills.”Jerrie Vedvei, of Lori’s Pharmacy in Groton, SD
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says all providers receiving the funds must meet requirements and are subject to audits.
Lori’s Pharmacy could try to file a civil suit to get the money it’s owed. However, Schwartz’s has not responded to recent suits filed against them by former employees in federal court.