Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Cited for Abuse, Fined $10,000

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Since 2017, Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has received over 100 citations and a total of four fines for being in violation of public health code and failing to protect its residents.

Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has received 118 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 31, 2021. The facility has additionally received four fines totaling $38,000 since 2008, the most recent being a $10,000 fine issued in July 2021. The Buffalo nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 14 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home failed to adequately protect residents from abuse and neglect. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code ensures nursing home residents the right “to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A July 2021 citation found that Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation specifically describes an incident in which a Certified Nursing Assistant entered a resident’s bathroom while the resident was in it, after which the resident “became agitated, an altercation ensued, and [the CNA] slammed the door causing the resident to fall to floor.” The resident was subsequently sent to the hospital and returned with conditions redacted by the citation. In a separate instance described by the citation, another resident was discovered on their floor of their room with bruising on their left eye and forehead. Although the resident had been assessed as at risk for falls, the citation states, there was no floor mat beside their bed as provided for by their care plan. The citation states that these deficiencies caused “actual harm.”

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The nursing home has failed to protect its residents against neglect and abuse, they have failed in taking the proper precautions that were needed to ensure residents were safe from accidents, and the nursing home failed to prevent unnecessary psychotropic drugs from being administered.

2. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must provide residents with adequate supervision to prevent accidents. A May 2021 citation found that Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not provide adequate supervision to prevent a resident from eloping the facility. The citation goes on to describe the resident’s elopement from the facility and subsequent discovery by staff members in the parking lot. According to the citation, “there were no care plan interventions implemented when the resident exhibited exit seeking behaviors.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the use of a wander-guard device for the resident.

3. The nursing home did not adequately prevent the unnecessary use of psychotropic medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that residents should not be administered psychotropic drugs unless they are necessary to treat a specific condition, and that residents who use them should receive gradual dose reductions and behavioral interventions in an effort to discontinue them. A July 2021 citation found that Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation specifically describes a resident on antipsychotic medications for whom there was a “lack of behavioral documentation to support the use of an antipsychotic medication prior to its initiation.”  The citation goes on to state that there was no evidence indicating the resident was a danger to themself or others. In an interview, the facility’s Director of Nursing said that “they would expect a week or two of behavior and mood tracking with non-pharmacologic interventions” before the use of antipsychotic medication. In a separate interview, the facility’s Attending Physician said “they would not expect the initiation of an antipsychotic medication to prevent an event from happening.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included a reevaluation of the resident and gradual dose reduction of the medication.

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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