November 8, 2013

Four Nursing Homes Fined, One After Patient Dies

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Four Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state in connection with cases of a resident dying after a fall, another being burned, others who broke a leg, hip or cervical bone and one who was sexually abused by a visitor.

In two of the citations released this week, the state Department of Public Health fined Elm Hill Nursing Center of Rocky Hill a total of $2,250 for the cases of a broken hip, the sexual abuse that was not properly reported and a resident who fell and was unresponsive. That patient died in a hospital after the fall, DPH spokesman William Gerrish said Friday.

On Sept. 10, Elm Hill was fined $1,020 in connection with the case of a resident with dementia who fell Feb. 14, and suffered a broken hip. State records show a nurse’s aide forgot to follow a care plan and place a tray table on the resident’s wheelchair.

On Sept. 11, DPH fined Elm Hill $1,230 in connection with the resident with dementia who died and the sexual abuse case. On Aug. 6, the resident was found unresponsive outside the home at the bottom of four stairs at 1:40 a.m. The resident stopped breathing and CPR was initiated. State records show an alarm on a door did not go off when the resident went outside and it was determined that the person had removed an alarm bracelet.

Records show that on July 30, Aug. 4, and Aug. 8, a visitor was observed touching a resident’s breasts or with his hands down her pants. A licensed practical nurse, a nurse’s aide and a social work staffer were suspended for not properly reporting the incidents, DPH records show.

Records also state that the nurse did not recognize the incidents as sexual abuse and said she didn’t think it was a “big deal because [the visitor] was an older gentleman.” The state concluded the home failed to “ensure the resident was protected from abuse until after the third incident.”

Regency Heights of Windham was fined $1,580 on July 22, for lapses of care in connection with five residents. State records show the home improperly cared for a resident with a pressure ulcer and failed to provide psychosocial support for a violent resident. Another resident broke a leg during a fall after disconnecting an alarm that should have been placed out of reach, records show. One resident was bruised while being lifted and another was cut when he or she became agitated while being transferred from a wheelchair to a bed, records show.

On Oct. 9, the state fined Bethel Healthcare Center of Bethel $1,500 in connection with a resident who was burned. DPH records show that on July 2, a heating pad was left behind the knee of a resident for several hours, instead of a half hour, when one licensed practical nurse did not remove it or tell the next shift it was there. After the same resident had skin graft surgery for the burn on Aug. 14, the state also found that the home did not follow its care plan to regularly monitor the resident’s skin.

Administrators at Elm Hill, Regency Heights or Bethel Healthcare could not be reached for comment.

On Sept. 13, the state fined Maple View Manor of Rocky Hill $1,280 in connection with a resident who fell Oct. 11, 2012 from a toilet, hitting his or her head on a sink, records show. The resident returned to the home wearing a cervical collar for a spinal/cervical fracture, records show. A nurse’s aide had left the resident alone briefly, and records show, the resident was at high risk for falls and was not supposed to be left alone.

Tim Brown, a spokesman for Maple View’s owner, National Health Care Associates of Lynbrook, N.Y., said the staff was retrained following the incident and directed to follow all of the home’s policies and procedures.

 

One thought on “Four Nursing Homes Fined, One After Patient Dies

  1. Chronic systemic problems prevail in the approach to long term care due to the for-profit nature of the nursing home industry. If you follow the money, its obvious that the amount of these fines is totally insignificant to these companies. So despite being found negligent by the State of Connecticut, via tax payer money funding these investigations, they are fined paltry amounts, which don’t even cover the cost of the investigation. Meanwhile, the unfortunate patients are sent to hospitals to try to fix the problems the nursing homes created and taxpayers again foot the bill again because Medicare and Medicaid pay the cost of the hospitalization. The nursing homes then fire the employees who were supposed to take care of these poor souls, despite being under staffed and underpaid. If they’re lucky, the fired employees will collect unemployment; paid for by whom? Oh yes, the taxpayers. If they can’t collect, they will end up on food stamps. They probably are already on Medicaid because the nursing homes don’t pay them enough to obtain decent health benefits for themselves and their families. All due to the problems the nursing homes create, and all subsidized by taxpayers, and all while nursing homes continue to turn a profit.

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