Articles Posted in coronavirus

The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center suffered 23 deaths from Covid-19 as of June 8, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 45 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 9, 2020. One of those citations concerned findings of infection control deficiencies. The Albion nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 13 surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate infection prevention measures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to maintain infection control programs that help prevent communicable diseases and infections. A November 2018 citation found that the facility did not establish and maintain such for its potable water system. The citation states specifically that “there was no sampling and management program or a risk assessment related to Legionella.” It goes on to state that while the facility had tested its cooling tower for the bacterium, there was no sampling of its potable water system. In an interview, the facility’s Director fo Maintenance said that they had reached out to a vendor who was “in the process of doing the water management and sampling plans.” The citation describes the scope of this deficiency as “widespread.”

Continue reading

Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center experienced 15 deaths from Covid-19 as of June 8, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 24 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, including one for infection prevention and control procedures, according to health records accessed on June 9, 2020. The Staten Island nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately maintain infection prevention and control policies. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to establish and maintain an infection control program “designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” A January 2020 citation found that Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that oxygen tubing connected to residents’ nares was in several instances observed touching the facility’s floor. The citation goes on to state that “this was evident” for three residents. It notes that facility policy provided for the changing of oxygen tubing found on the floor. In an interview, a Certified Nursing Assistant said that “oxygen tubing should not be on the floor.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the changing of two residents’ tubing two a shorter length.

Continue reading

Ten Broeck Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing suffered 32 deaths from Covid-19 as of June 16, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 31 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 16, 2020. One of those citations found a violation in the nursing home’s infection control practices. The Lake Katrine nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 3 surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for residents. A February 2018 citation found that Ten Broeck Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that three of the facility’s Licensed Practical Nurses did not perform proper hand hygiene to prevent cross contamination while they were conducting a medication pass. One of the LPNs was observed placing her finger inside a medication cup before giving it to the resident, and opening a medication package without wearing gloves. Another was observed placing two medication cups atop a medication cart without cleaning the top of the cart, filling each cup with a medication tablet, and lifting one of the cups and stacking it in the other, potentially contaminating the latter cup; this LPN was also observed putting her finger inside the medication cups before giving them to a resident. And a third LPN was observed putting her finger inside a medication cup, potentially contaminating the resident; when she gave the medication to the resident, one of the pills fill from the resident’s hand onto the resident’s bed, and the LPN was observed picking the pill up “with her bare hand” and returning it to the resident. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the counseling and education of the LPNs in question.

Continue reading

A new report by the Washington Post suggests that “thousands of nursing homes” across the United States were ill prepared for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Federal guidance as well as advice from researchers and medical experts encouraged a policy of treating patients in place, the article notes, believing that hospitals “are not friendly environments for the frail and elderly.” But, the Post suggests, nursing homes “neglected” the fact that treating patients in place “requires having effective means of treatment, staff who know how to deploy that treatment and procedures to stop the spread of infection.” The result was that even though nursing homes “did not swamp hospitals” with coronavirus patients, they also did not prevent “the deaths of more than 30,000 of their residents, or, in many cases, even provide decent palliative care.”

The Post discusses one nursing home in upstate New York, Absolut Care Care of Aurora Park in East Aurora. Public records indicated that 153 residents at the nursing home were infected, with 61 deaths by May 31, 2020. This figure “includes deaths on site and among those taken to hospitals,” the Post says, and is disputed by the facility’s owners, though they “did not provide their own tally.” A nurse who quit working at the facility in early May told the Post that “Once it was there it just spread like wildfire… It was very hectic, chaotic.”

Continue reading

Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing suffered 15 deaths from Covid-19 as of June 16, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 41 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 16, 2020. Multiple citations concerned deficient infection prevention practices. The Glens Falls nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 7 surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent the spread of infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to… help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases.” An April 2020 citation found that Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that staffers did not provide for the handling and delivery of laundry “in a manner to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection.” It goes on to state that staff delivering laundry entered a resident’s room wearing personal protective equipment, as required by directions on the door, and then exited the room without removing the PPE or performing hand hygiene before they entered the room of a resident who did not have PPE precautions posted on their door. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the removal of a laundry aide from the assignment and the removal and re-laundering of personal items in affected rooms.

Continue reading

Members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis have requested documents and a briefing from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo concerning his March 25, 2020 order that New York nursing homes must admit patients discharged from hospitals even if those patients had been treated for COVID-19. According to a report in the New York Post, those congressmen said the order “likely contributed” to the high COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes.

According to the Post, five Republican members of the subcommittee have requested “six categories of documents and information, including the daily number of coronavirus deaths of a ‘registered nursing home patient at a hospital.'”

The report notes that the New York State Department of Health “stopped listing on that figure on its website” at the beginning of May. The committee members have also requested a briefing of their staff, and have sent similar requests to the governors of Michigan, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Continue reading

A June 12 report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service disclosed that 31,782 nursing home residents died as a result of COVID-19 as of May 31, 2020. This accounts for about one-third of the known COVID-19 deaths in the United States, according to a column in Forbes, with “the highest number of deaths” occurring in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The column notes that these states “were among the first to grant civil immunity to nursing homes,” a grant that “effectively eliminates civil legal redress for and on behalf of nursing home residents who died due of COVID-19 due to negligence and abuse.”

According to the Forbes columnist, the granting of immunity to nursing homes that may not have established “reasonable protections for vulnerable residents” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic is “an appalling abuse of the law.” Such grants have occurred in roughly 20 states, with Congress preparing to take comparable federal action—even though, the columnist notes, no serious inquiry has been held into nursing homes’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Broad immunity for nursing homes would impede the ability of victims’ family members to uncover what happened to their loved ones “who died during a lockdown, alone and behind closed doors.” It also removes the broader public’s ability to hold “bad nursing homes operators accountable for patient abuse and neglect.

Continue reading

Wingate at Beacon suffered 19 deaths from Covid-19 as of May 24, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 25 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on May 26, 2020. The facility has additionally received three enforcement actions: a 2016 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings in a 2010 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding hydration; a 2016 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings in a 2012 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding feeding via gastrostomy tubes and administrative matters; and a 2012 fine of $24,000 in connection to findings in a 2012 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding accidents and supervision, food, services that meet professional standards, and administrative matters. The Beacon nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not have enough nursing staff. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to have “sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets to provide nursing and related services to assure resident safety and attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.” A September 2018 citation found that Wingate at Beacon did not ensure the availability of such. The citation states specifically that “multiple residents” stated in confidential interviews, as well as during a group meeting, that there were not enough Certified Nursing Aides “to respond to call bells and provide assistance during activities of daily living.” As a result, residents said, it sometimes took an hour to get a response after pressing a call bell; in some cases “showers were not done,” and in another, a resident required help getting off a toilet and waited more than 20 minutes. The citation goes on to state that nursing staff members reported a lack of adequate staffing in all units, and that an analysis of the facility’s staffing scheduled demonstrated that “on multiple occasions” it did not meet the required number of CNAs in all its units. A plan of care implemented by the facility included the identification of minimum staffing members.

Continue reading

Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Aurora Park suffered 30 deaths from Covid-19 as of May 24, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 69 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on May 26, 2020. The facility has additionally received three enforcement actions: a 2017 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings in a 2016 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding accidents; a 2016 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings in a 2015 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding pressure sores; and a 2016 fine of $4,000 in connection to findings in a 2013 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding accidents and administrative matters. The East Aurora nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six inspections by state surveyors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate infection control measures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must establish and implement an infection prevention and control program. A September 2018 citation found that Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Aurora Park did not ensure that its Legionella Management Program included an annually updated environmental assessment and management plan. The citation states that this deficiency affected all three of the facility’s resident use buildings; that about 25 months had passed since the updating of a document titled Environmental Assessment of Water Systems in Healthcare Settings; and that about 22 months had passed since the updating of documents titled Legionnaires Plan and Policy and Risk Management Plan for Legionella Control. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the establishment of an annual review of the policy in question.

Continue reading

Last week the New York Times spoke with a variety of expert about how to mitigate the risk of viral outbreaks in nursing home facilities. Noting that more than 34,000 Covid-19 infections have occurred in nursing homes, and that long-term care centers “accounted for more than half of all Covid-19 deaths” in 15 states, the article suggested that Covid-19 is particularly devastating in nursing homes due do underlying structural issues. Like cruise ships and prisons, they “have large numbers of people in relatively small spaces, so it’s hard to do isolation,” one geriatrician told the Times. “They have congregant meals prepared in central kitchens, staff that have a lot of personal contacts with residents. They have activities that bring a lot of people together.”

Experts told the Times that the first priority in protecting nursing home residents from Covid-19 should be an expansion of rapid testing and tracing for facilities’ residents and staff. Another is the provision of adequate personal protective equipment. Experts suggested several other essential reforms, including:

Continue reading

Contact Information