Nursing Home Chain to pay $4 million in settlement for understaffing and care failures

Jun 11, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — A long-term care company that operates a nursing home in Middleboro has reached a $4 million settlement with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General for understaffing its facilities and failing to care properly for nursing home residents.

Next Step Health Care owns and operates 16 nursing homes in Massachusetts, including OakHill Healthcare in Middleboro. OakHill Healthcare did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The settlement, which is the largest nursing home settlement ever reached by the Attorney General’s Office, resolves allegations that Next Step deliberately failed to properly staff the nursing homes it owned and operated, resulting in resident harm and neglect, the Office of the Attorney General has reported.

As part of the settlement, most of Next Steps’ facilities will be required to be overseen by an independent compliance monitor at the company’s expense.  

The settlement follows a years-long investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, which investigated reports of substandard care or regulatory violations at Next Step’s nursing homes based on complaints and referrals received from the Department of Public Health.