East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Cited for Unnecessary Drugs

East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center received 29 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on March 28, 2020. The West Babylon nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not prevent residents from being administered unnecessary drugs. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to keep “each resident’s drug regimen… free from unnecessary drugs.” A May 2016 citation found that East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center did not ensure such for one resident. The citation states specifically that there was an increase in the resident’s antidepressant medication without any “documented evidence as to why the medication was increased.” In an interview, the facility’s neurologist was asked where the documentation for the dosage increase was, he said that he “will write it next time.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included an updating of the resident’s medical record and re-education of nursing staff regarding unnecessary medications.

2. The nursing home did not keep residents’ drug regimens free from unnecessary psychotropic medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code states that “Residents who have not used psychotropic drugs are not given these drugs unless the medication is necessary to treat a specific condition as diagnosed and documented in the clinical record.” An October 2018 citation found that East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center did not ensure one resident’s drug regimen was free from such. The citation states specifically that the resident’s medication was increased from 25 milligrams every other day to 25 milligrams daily “without documented evidence of [the] indication for the increase.”  In an interview, a Registered Nurse stated that “there was no behavioral intervention that was instituted” at the time of an earlier gradual dose reduction attempt, and that they were not aware whether non-pharmacological interventions were attempted before the dosage was increased. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to maintain infection control protocols that provide residents with “a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” and to mitigate the development and transmission of disease and infection. A May 2016 citation found that East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center did not adequately maintain such a program. The citation states specifically that the nursing home did not ensure residents on Contact Precautions had infection control carts outside of their rooms that were adequately stocked with personal protective equipment. According to the citation, two residents had carts outside their rooms with no supplies, and one resident had a cart “with only a gown and no other equipment.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the counseling and re-education of licensed nurses.

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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