Somers Point-based home health agency Infinity Healthcare LLC has ceased operations after a state investigation showed its employees were not certified to practice as home health aides, officials announced Wednesday.
The company stopped doing business Sept. 10 after a March 2012 investigation by the state Division of Consumer Affairs and attorney general showed employees were not certified by the State Board of Nursing.
Jerome Kurmas, former president and owner of the agency, signed a consent order at the end of December stating he had to give up his license and is not allowed to own, operate or manage any other business in the state that operates as a health care service firm or provides any health care services.
The DCA said in a news release that Infinity regularly placed employees in patients’ homes even though none of the employees listed in the agency’s files was certified as a home aide.
Kurmas said home health aides were a small part of the business, therefore it was simply a matter of “we became lax.”
“Our focus, probably about 75 percent or more, was staffing nursing homes,” Kurmas said.
He said the business, started by his late wife in 1990, had been failing in the last few years, leaving only two to three clients staffed by the agency. He added that even though the business was shut down, there were no issues or negative feedback that he could recall, but admits he did break the rules.
“I can tell you that we never had any complaints,” Kurmas said of his business. “All agencies do this type of thing, I can tell you that for a fact.”
Kurmas said there were no fines and it was simply a matter of record-keeping that ended the business. The March investigation was only the second time that Kurmas had received such a visit, he said. The last was in 1999, “and their follow-up to that was in 2012.”
Kurmas said he has no complaints about the shutdown. “I was in it for 18 years, I had a good run,” he said.
Kurmas said that in addition to some uncertified aides, he also employed Certified Nursing Assistants, or aides who were overqualified. He admits there is a difference in expertise, though.
In addition to the use of uncertified aides, the investigation said, the agency failed to match each client’s specific needs and failed to verify the license status prior to referral or placement, according to a statement by the DCA.
DCA investigators interviewed Kurmas and his employees and reviewed the company’s documents regarding employee activities and patient care.
Infinity also allegedly violated the Health Care Firm Regulations by failing to establish a written plan of care for each patient, failing to conduct client health care reviews and in-home evaluations, according to the statement.
The Infinity investigation is part of a larger initiative in which the DCA is investigating home health care agencies — those that contract with patients to provide licensed nurses or certified home health aides on a rotating basis to care for individuals in their homes — to determine the companies’ compliance with consumer protection laws.
Contact Anjalee Khemlani:
Follow @AnjKhem on Twitter