Bronx Center for Rehabilitation & Health Care Cited for Unnecessary Drugs

Bronx Center for Rehabilitation & Health Care received 44 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 21, 2019. Those citations number 12 more than the statewide average of 32. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure that residents’ drug regimens were free from unnecessary psychotropic medications. Under Section 483.45 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must keep residents’ drug regimens free from the unnecessary use of any drugs that affect “brain activities associated with mental processes and behavior,” including anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, and hypnotics. A January 2019 citation found that the nursing home failed to ensure that one resident was free from an unnecessary antipsychotic medication, in contravention of facility policy dictating that residents residents receive medications “at the lowest possible dosage for the shortest period of time,” and that they only receive such medications “when necessary to treat specific conditions for which they are indicated and effective.” As a result of the citation, the facility instituted a plan of correction in which the resident’s psychiatrist recommended a reduced dosage of the medication in question.

2. The nursing home did not ensure an environment free of accident hazards. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities are to provide an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, as well as adequate supervision to prevent residents from sustaining accidents. An October 2018 citation found that Bronx Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care did not provide adequate supervision to a resident who had been assessed as “high risk for elopement” and consequently placed on visual monitoring every 15 minutes. The citation states that the resident “successfully eloped the facility” through its gate and was later returned by local police officers. The nursing home’s investigation of the incident concluded that it was the result of “inadequate supervision” by the security guard, as well as a dietary aide’s “delayed reporting” of the resident’s elopement.

3. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program” designed to create a “safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” for resident. According to a January 2019 citation, the nursing home failed to comply with this section when it allowed a resident’s oxygen tubing to touch the floor. Nursing staff told an inspector that they are required to ensure oxygen tubing is  dated, placed close to the resident using it, and “never… touching the floor,” according to the citation. In an interview, a staffer stated that she would take steps to ensure that oxygen tubing is placed in such a manner that it does not make contact with the floor should the resident using it shift position.

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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