Northern Manor Geriatric Center Cited for Use of Antipsychotic Drugs

antipsyhotic-and-elderlyBetween 2013 and 2017, the Northern Manor Geriatric Center in Rockland County, New York received more than double the average number of citations by the New York Department of Health, the entity responsible for performing yearly inspections at all nursing homes in the state.  Compared to the statewide average of 34 citations- relating to either standard health or life safety violations – Northern Manor Geriatric Center received 73 citations by the government agency. Of these 73 citations, two were related to “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” – the most serious of violations issued by New York State.

The following are some of the most serious or most recent violations found by the New York State Department of Health:

  1. The nursing home did not ensure that resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, each nursing home resident’s drug regimen must be free of any unnecessary drugs. According to the federal regulation, this means that the drug regimen cannot be administered with an excessive dose, without adequate monitoring, without a proper purpose, or if the side effects outweigh the benefits. Northern Manor Geriatric Center violated this federal law when it prescribed an antipsychotic medication to a resident without sufficient reasoning. The state health inspector noted that no documented history of behavior or cognitive decline (the ability to reason and behave appropriately) existed in the patient. A recent report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) noted that antipsychotics are routinely prescribed to sedate nursing home residents or otherwise make the residents more compliant.
  2. The nursing home did not ensure food is safe and sanitary. Under Section 483.70(c)(2) of the Federal Code, each nursing home must “maintain all essential equipment in safe operating condition.” The Rockland County assisted living facility violated this provision by storing food in a refrigerator that could not completely shut and therefore kept food at around 52 degrees Fahrenheit – a full 10 degrees higher than required by federal law. According to the Department of Health, this was a routine problem at the facility and constituted a “pattern” of violations. The dining facility at the nursing home also violated Section 483.35(i) of the Federal Code which requires nursing homes to “store, prepare, distribute and serve food under sanitary conditions” by not adequately washing the surfaces, cooking utensils, or its dining facility. According to the health inspector, dried food on surfaces and expired food were found throughout its cafeteria.
  3. The nursing home violated multiple fire-safety regulations. The Northern Manor Geriatric Center violated multiple fire-safety regulations in 2017. The nursing home violated Section 483.20(k)(3)(i) of the Federal Code by not ensuring all fire exits were easily accessible. Further, Northern Manor Geriatric Center did not hold quarterly fire drills (as required by Section 711.2(a)(1) of the New York Code). In fact, the state inspector noted only one of the four required drills being performed in the last year. In addition to these violations, the Rockland County nursing home did not have adequate sprinkler systems, inadequate smoker barriers, and a lack of smoke-proof enclosures in the stairwells.

The attorneys at Gallivan & Gallivan work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

 

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