A recent report by the Long Term Care Community Coalition raises important questions about “no harm” deficiencies in nursing homes across the United States. “No Harm” deficiencies are health violations cited by official surveyors that are classified as causing no harm to residents. As the LTCCC argues in its Elder Justice newsletter, “no harm” citations often appear on their face to indeed be harmful, and that because they rarely result in financial penalties, this potentially erroneous classification leaves nursing homes without any incentive to correct systemic deficiencies. The LTCCC report describes several recent “no harm citations,” asking the reader whether the classification appears honest and accurate. Continue reading
A recent article in The Prospect details the “extraordinary” lawsuit filed by hundreds of New York nursing homes against the state health commissioner in an effort to block a new law mandating that nursing homes “spend a majority of their revenue on patient care.” As The Prospect explains, the lawsuit alleges that the law unconstitutionally seizes nursing homes’ private property for a public purpose, a rationale described by the article as “preposterous.” Continue reading
Heritage Park Rehab & Skilled Nursing has received 7 citations for violations of public health code between 2018 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 29, 2022. It has also been identified as a candidate for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ list of Special Focus Facilities, nursing homes with a record of quality issues. The Jamestown nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of two surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not ensure the appropriate use of bedrails. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must attempt to use alternatives to bed rails before installing them, and that if they are used, the nursing homes must ensure their correct installation and use, and assess the resident in question for entrapment risk. An October 2021 citation found that Heritage Park Rehab & Skilled Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility installed bed rails for a resident who was care planned for bed rails not to be used while they were in bed. According to the citation, a Certified Nursing Assistant at the facility “did not follow the care plan and put the bed rails… in the up position.” It adds that the nursing home had not developed and implemented a routine monitoring system to protect residents from entrapment risk during the use of various side rails, and further that it “did not have a complete inventory of types of beds and rails currently in use.” After the resident’s bed rails were placed in the up position in contravention of their care plan, the facility states, the resident “was found sitting on the floor with their head wedged between the bed rail and the mattress, resulting in lacerations and abrasions of the face and finger.” The citation states that this deficiency resulted in immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety and reflected a systemic substandard quality of care.A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the replacement of the resident’s bed with one that did not have rails, and re-education of relevant employees.
In a recent presentation at the annual Consumer Voice conference, nursing home experts Ernest Tosh and Eileen O’Grady unpacked the adverse effects of private equity ownership of nursing homes. The presentation, available in clips on Consumer Voice’s website, explains how private equity firms are increasingly taking over the long-term care industry in the United States. Research suggests their takeover has “increased the short-term mortality of Medicare residents by 10%, resulting in 20,150 more deaths over a twelve-year period.” They use a number of practices, the presenters said, to “extract as much money out of nursing homes as possible,” often resulting in a lower quality of care for residents. Continue reading
A recent investigation by ProPublica examines why for-profit nursing home operator Sentosa Care has become New York’s biggest nursing home group in recent years despite its “record of repeat fines, violations and complaints for deficient care in recent years.” The key reason, according to the report: systemic failures in the state’s review and approval process for people and entities seeking to purchase shares in nursing home facilities.
A new investigation by CalMatters asks why a nearly-$1 million fine issued against a California nursing home over alleged health code violations went unknown by consumers. In 2018, state health inspectors visited the facility, Fresno’s Northpointe Healthcare Center, and found it to have health and safety deficiencies that put its residents in “immediate jeopardy.” These included a resident “hospitalized with sepsis after missing four doses of an antibiotic,” overworked staff missing treatments and failing to administer medication, and residents suffering from bedsore-related pain. After the state inspectors released their findings, federal authorities fined the facility $912,404, reportedly “the largest penalty given to any California nursing home in at least a decade.”
A New York assemblyman has said that the legislative body’s investigation of former governor Andrew Cuomo found that his administration provided misleading information about Covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes, according to a recent AP News report. The assembly’s inquiry reportedly confirmed earlier investigations by news organizations that found “gaps in the state’s statistical accounting of fatalities,” like its omission of “thousands” of Covid-19 deaths after residents were transferred from their nursing home facilities to local hospitals. Continue reading
A new report by the Long-Term Community Care Coalition has found that while insufficient staffing is a widespread problem in nursing homes, state nursing home surveyors rarely issue citations for it. The report, titled “Broken Promises,” analyzes nursing home citations from 2018 until 2020. Continue reading
The Long-Term Community Care Coalition recently published the results of its analysis of nationwide nursing home citation data from 2018 to 2020. The organization’s report, titled “Broken Promises,” found that whereas Long-Term Care Ombudsmen receive complaints about resident rights violations more than most other violations, only 2% of citations during the period in question were for resident rights violations. Continue reading
A recent analysis of federal nursing home citation data by the Long-Term Community Care Coalition found that nearly 20% of nursing home residents in the United States have been administered one or more antipsychotic medications, the unnecessary use of which are prohibited by federal law. That figure constitutes more than 250,000 nursing home residents. Continue reading