Articles Posted in Physical Abuse

Chapin Home for the Aging received 17 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 19, 2019. The Jamaica nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state authorities. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not protect residents from abuse and neglect. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure their residents’ “right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A June 2019 citation found that Chapin Home for the Aging failed to comply with this section in an instance in which one resident was “observed in his room with his wheelchair leg rest in his hand, raised above” another resident, who was observed in bed “with multiple lacerations and… covered with blood.” The latter resident had lacerations on his scalp and his ear, as well as “excoriations” on his left shoulder and left upper arm. The resident was transferred to the local hospital, where he received 20 medical staples. The citation found that this deficiency on the nursing home’s part resulted in “actual harm.”

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Ozanam Hall of Queens received 16 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 19, 2019. The facility was also the subject of a 2018 fine of $2,000 in connection to unspecified findings in a January 2018 survey. The Bayside nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not employ adequate measures to prevent misconduct after a resident alleged abuse by a staffer. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code states that while nursing home facilities investigate allegations of abuse, they must prevent further potential abuse. A January 2018 citation found that Ozanam Hall of Queens failed to do so after a resident made an abuse allegation against a Licensed Practical Nurse. The citation specifically found that the nursing home did not remove the nurse in question from providing care to the resident after the resident reported to a family member that “the staff member roused her from her sleep by grabbing her in the abdominal area without warning.” In response to the “intense pain” she felt from this, the resident stated, she “tried to ward off” the staffer’s hands, and the staffer “slapped her face repeatedly with a pillow and pinched her left upper arm.” In an interview, the facility’s Director of Nursing told an inspector that the facility’s Registered Nurse supervisor “felt she was protecting the resident by not allowing the LPN to enter the resident’s room unsupervised,” and was not aware she could send the Licensed Practical Nurse home. The LPN in question ultimately resigned.

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United Hebrew Geriatric Center received 24 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 26, 2019. The New Rochelle nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five inspections by state surveyors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did ensure residents were protected from abuse. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities must protect their residents’ “right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” According to an August 2017 citation, the nursing home did not properly supervise its staff to identify or prevent abuse, follow up on abuse prevention education to ensure its compliance, or ensure the reporting of abuse to the facility’s administrator. As such, according to the citation, the facility did not prevent “repeated” physical and emotional abuse of a resident with dementia and dysphagia. The citation describes video evidence that showed nursing staff forcefully feeding the resident, who had a swallowing disorder, and who “grimaced” and “expressed a fearful look” during the feeding. The citation also notes that a Registered Nurse entered the room during one incident and observed a Certified Nursing Assistant “feeding and handling the resident in a rough manner,” but “did not intervene to protect the resident.” The citation identified this deficiency as a pattern of conduct that posed immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety.”

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King Street Home received 32 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 26, 2019. The Port Chester nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did take adequate steps to protect residents from abuse. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code nursing homes must ensure residents’ “right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A July 2019 citation found that King Street Home did not ensure residents’ right to be free from abuse in an instance where a Certified Nursing Assistant was accused of being “rough” with a resident. After the resident reported the allegation, the assistant was removed from contact with that resident, but was not promptly removed from contact with other residents while the allegation was investigated. In an interview, the facility’s administrator told an inspector that the assistant “should have been removed from all resident contact” in addition to the resident in question.

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Salem Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 14 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 26, 2019. The Purdys nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did ensure residents’ right to freedom from abuse. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must uphold residents’ right to freedom “from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A March 2019 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure this right for one of three residents. An inspector specifically found that a Certified Nursing Assistant, in response to a resident slapping her face, “grabbed and held the resident’s left wrist while continuing to hold the right wrist firmly.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included, in part, educating CNAs so they “understand that holding on to another person’s hands or wrist as a knee jerk… action” is not appropriate, and that they should instead distance themselves from residents and seek assistance.

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Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing received 30 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 14, 2019. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not properly ensure the prevention and control of infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities “must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” During a May 2019 inspection, a surveyor observed a Licensed Practical Nurse “performing blood pressure monitoring for 3 residents without cleaning the blood pressure cuff between residents”; another LPN administering eye drop medication without maintaining “proper hand hygiene”; and a third LPN failing to maintain proper hand hygiene while completing a wound care observation.

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Crown Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 37 citations for violations of New York and federal public health law between 2015 and 2019, according to records provided by the New York Department of Health and accessed on November 2, 2019. Over the course of five inspections by health authorities, the Cortland, New York nursing home received five more citations than the statewide average of 32. It also received five enforcement actions resulting in fines between 2012 until 2018. According to the Long Term Care Community Coalition, Crown Park is a “one-star nursing home,” a term that indicates it “shows evidence of significantly poor levels of care.” The nursing home’s violations found by the Department of Health include the following:

1. The nursing home failed to ensure residents were free from abuse and neglect. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code provides nursing home residents with “the right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A January 17, 2018 citation found, however, that the nursing home did not ensure that ten of eleven sampled residents were provided with “adequate supervision to prevent abuse.” The citation states that these residents were involved in multiple altercations with each other, and that the facility’s failure to ensure each resident’s safety resulted in the continuation of these altercations. These altercations reportedly resulted in injuries: one resident received a bruise, while another sustained a laceration and bled visibly. Although the facility’s protocol provided for a system of safety rounds to ensure its residents’ safety, “there was no documented evidence” that such a program was operated as defined. A stipulation and order dated September 18, 2018, states that alleged violations uncovered during the January 17 inspection resulted in the Department of Health’s levying of a $2,000 fine against Crown Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Continue reading

A federal judge ruled against SensotaCare, the largest nursing home provider in New York, saying the agency violated human trafficking laws with its meager wages and “threat of serious financial harm” designed to prevent anyone from quitting. According to Newsday, Judge Gershon of the federal Eastern District of New York also found that the owners of SensotaCare, Benjamin Landa and Bent Philipson, could be held personally liable for violating the anti-trafficking laws. 

The ruling continues a decade-long saga between the corrupt owners of the nursing home and the Filipino nurses who say they were required to pay $25,000 if they ever quit their job. At one point, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota charged thirty nurses who quit en masse with endangering the welfare of children for leaving  their position. The charges were overturned by a state court because they violated the rights of the nurses to be “free from slavery.”  

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Elder abuse is a growing problem in America that often goes unreported. According to a recent article in NPR, healthcare workers and government regulators are failing to report cases of suspected elder abuse to local authorities. The article analyzes a recent report by the Office of Inspector General which found that despite evidence of abuse or neglect severe enough to warrant medical attention, healthcare providers rarely alerted authorities. Under both federal and state law, healthcare professionals are legally required to report cases of suspected abuse.

Elder care advocates are unsurprised by the federal agency’s report, saying that elder abuse is widespread and unreported in the United States. The report only further confirms the severity of the elder abuse and the indifference to tackle the problem. One study relied upon by the federal agency that authored the report analyzed nursing home residents who end up in an emergency room. The researchers looked for potential signs of neglect or elder abuse, such as head injuries, body bruises, bedsores, or any diagnosis that may indicate sexual or physical abuse.

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Victims of nursing home abuse and industry stakeholders gathered in Washington this month for a Senate hearing on the nursing home industry. In addition to hearing testimony from the families of nursing home abuse, the federal legislators sounded the alarm over a looming fight over Medicaid funding. According to Skilled Nursing News, the Trump administration will propose its plans to convert Medicaid funding into a “block-grant model.”

According to proponents of the new model of funding, Medicaid spending has spiraled out-of-control and the federal health insurance scheme is no longer sustainable. Instead of continuing with the current open-ended model, the federal government will fund a predetermined amount each year for a state’s Medicaid program. The amount will likely depend on the number of Medicaid beneficiaries in the state, among other factors. The idea for overhauling Medicaid’s open-ended funding model into a block grant system has been favored by Republicans for a long time and finally reached a fever-pitch during the Affordable Care debate in 2017.

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