Beechwood Homes: 21 COVID Fatalities, Infection Control Citation

Beechwood Homes suffered 21 fatalities from Covid-19 as of June 29, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 33 citations finding it violated public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 30, 2020, including one citation over findings of infection prevention measures. The Getzville nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to ensure residents were protected from infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” that helps mitigate communicable diseases and infections. A May 2019 citation found Beechwood Homes failed to do so. The citation states specifically that the nursing home failed to perform “routine Legionella culture sampling and analysis at intervals” that did not exceed 90 days in its first year of testing and yearly afterward. According to the citation, the citation affected both of the nursing home’s resident use buildings. In an interview, the facility’s Director of Plant Operations said “he was not aware of the quarterly testing requirement for the buildings’ portable water supply” and that the nursing home had conducted two samplings in a redacted year. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

2. The nursing home did not adequately protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must provide residents with “adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.” A November 2017 citation found that Beechwood Homes did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that a resident at the facility “was left unattended by staff in the bathroom and was assisted to a standing position by staff holding the resident under her arm.” It goes on to state that the nursing home had not implemented its fall prevention program fully enough to determine that the resident in question “was at high risk for falls.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included an evaluation of the resident by the Director of Therapy Operations, and the instruction of relevant staff that the resident was “not to be left unattended while in the bathroom” and that staff would use a gait belt when transferring the resident.

3. The nursing home did not adequately implement criminal history review protocols. Section 402.7 of the Federal Code stipulates that when an employee criminal history record review of reveals a negative determination, nursing homes must remove the employee from direct care or supervision of residents. A May 2019 citation found that Beechwood Homes did not immediately remove a resident from such upon receiving a negative determination letter from the Department of Health. The citation goes on to state that the employee in question continued working “five days after the facility received notification of the employee’s pending denial letter,” and that the employee worked in two of the facility’s resident buildings. According to the citation, a review of facility procedures revealed that the nursing home had “no procedure… to follow if it received a pending denial letter for a provisional employee.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the updating of policies and procedures.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC 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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