Articles Posted in Neglect

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A nursing home based in Syracuse, New York has received 57 health citations since 2017.

Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has received 57 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on April 8, 2021. The facility has additionally received seven fines totaling $90,000 since 2008. The Syracuse nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 15 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following: Continue reading

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet indicated whether he will sign the nursing home immunity legislation.

Last week New York state legislators repealed immunity protections granted to nursing homes earlier this year. On March 26th, the Journal News reported, the New York Senate “voted unanimously to approve legislation that would repeal the Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act, which provides immunity to health care providers from potential liability arising from certain decisions, actions and omissions related to the care of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The repeal legislation was sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi and co-sponsored by Senators Leroy Comrie, Julia Salazar, and Jessica Ramoz.

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An investigation found that nursing homes with five-star ratings often received citations for abuse and neglect.

A new investigation by the New York Times examines how nursing homes use the star rating system to “mislead the public.” As the article explains, the nursing home star rating system, in which one star is the lowest rating and five star is the highest ratings, has been “a popular way for consumers to educate themselves and for nursing homes to attract new customers.”

However, the report suggests, the system in fact offers “a distorted picture of the quality of care” at nursing homes, with many facilities manipulating the rating system to conceal failings that led to disproportionate nursing home resident deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Times ultimately found that residents “at five-star facilities were roughly as likely to die of the disease as those at one-star homes.” Continue reading

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The New York nursing home has received more than 80 health citations in the last for years.

Saratoga Center for Rehab and Skilled Nursing Care has received 88 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on March 5, 2021, as well as four fines totaling $36,000 since 2014. The Ballston Spa nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 7 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not implement adequate infection control practices. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must create and uphold an infection prevention and control program that helps to prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection. A November 2019 citation found that Saratoga Center for Rehab and Skilled Nursing Care failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not ensure the annual updating of infection control policies, and further, that the facility did not maintain “standard precautions” during a resident’s dressing change. The citation goes on to describe an instance in which a Graduate Practical Nurse was conducting a dressing change for a resident’s pressure ulcer and did not properly remove their gloves or perform hand hygiene after cleansing the wound and before applying ointment. The citation finally states that in certain shared bathrooms in the facility, residents’ personal items were not labeled. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the review of infection prevention policies.

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The Pearl Nursing Center of Rochester has received citations for accident hazards and medication errors.

The Pearl Nursing Center of Rochester has received 121 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on February 28, 2020, as well as four fines totaling $20,000 since 2011. The Rochester nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 11 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate steps to avoid accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code guarantees nursing home residents the right to adequate supervision to prevent accidents. A December 2019 citation found that The Pearl Nursing Center of Rochester failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that one resident who had been identified upon admission as an elopement risk was not given a wanderguard supervision device until after they eloped from the facility. The citation goes on to describe another resident whose aspiration precautions were not properly followed in an instance where their meal was not cut up “and the resident attempted to put the whole rolled pasta in their mouth.” The citation states that these deficiencies had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

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A row of walkers in a nursing home.

Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 61 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on February 19, 2021. The facility has also received enforcement actions: a 2020 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings it violated Covid-19 testing regulations; a 2020 fine of $50,000 in connection to findings of health code violations; a 2018 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings of unspecified health code violations; and a 2017 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings it violated health code provisions regarding quality of care. The Buffalo nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 11 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not protect residents from 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 September 2019 citation found that Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that for a resident with a suspected fracture, the nursing home failed to implement a physician’s orders, the substance of which are redacted. The citation goes on to state that the facility did not apply “an immobilizer/sling and left wrist brace… to immobilize the resident’s left upper extremity (LUE) as ordered.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the transfer of the resident to the emergency room to rule out a fracture.

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New York’s nursing homes have suffered staffing shortages over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

A new report recently published by New York Attorney General Letitia James suggests that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order providing certain Covid-19 immunity provisions for nursing home and other healthcare providers may have incentivized nursing homes “to make financially-motivated decisions” that may have resulted in harm.

According to the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) report, the April 6th, 2020 executive order provided immunity to “to health care professionals from potential liability arising from certain decisions, actions and/or omissions related to the care of individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic retroactive to Governor Cuomo’s initial emergency declaration on March 7.” The statute excluded harm or damages “caused by an act or omission constituting willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm,” but the OAG notes that this section contains a loophole in which acts, omissions, or decisions “resulting from a resource or staffing shortage” were not included in the carveout. Continue reading

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Genesis HealthCare reportedly suffered financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

Genesis HealthCare, one of the biggest nursing home chains in the United States, paid one of its executives a $5.2 million bonus even as it lost thousands of residents to Covid-19. According to a recent report in the Washington Post, Genesis paid George Hager Jr. the bonus in late October. He retired as the head of the chain on January 5, 2021. Though he will pay back part of the bonus, the Post reports, he will also “be reimbursed over the next two years,” and received payments totaling $950,000 from the company as he left.

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, “more than 300 Genesis nursing homes experienced 14,352 confirmed cases of covid-19 through mid-December,” according to the Post. A total of 2,812 nursing home residents had died from Covid-19 by December 20th. The Post also reports that Medicare data revealed that the company’s nursing homes “reported continuing shortages of personal protective equipment through the months of the pandemic,” an issue that only improved around the end of November 2020, after Genesis Healthcare’s board approved the $5.2 million bonus to Hager. Continue reading

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The New York nursing home was cited for failing to ensure patients are not administered unnecessary psychotropic medication.

Elderwood at Williamsville suffered three confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of January 23, 2021, according to state records. The facility has also received 19 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 23, 2020. The Williamsville 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 adequately protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure each resident environment is ‘as free of accident hazards as is possible.” A February 2019 citation found that Elderwood at Williamsville failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that three resident units “had issues involving electric heating units in resident rooms with metal surfaces that were very hot to touch and were not shielded from resident access.” In an interview, the facility’s Director of Maintenance said that the nursing home “does not monitor the metal surface temperatures of wall-mounted electric heaters.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the movement of resident beds away from the heaters.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the decommissioning of a Georgia long-term care center following an investigation that found the nursing home was infested with fire ants. The  facility, Eagles’ Nest Community Living Center, will be permanently closed following a determination that it can’t provide an adequate setting for long-term care.

According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the VA intends to rebuild the nursing home, and to add more long-term care beds at a different facility west of Atlanta, the Veterans Village. As for the 34 residents living at Eagles’ Nest, they were transferred to other facilities back in April “to limit their exposure to COVID-19,” according to the AJC. Continue reading

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