Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Cited for Accidents

Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 33 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on February 20, 2020. The Middletown nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate steps to prevent accidents. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must “ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and [that] each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.” A March 2016 citation found that Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure residents’ environment was sufficiently free of accident hazards, nor that two residents were provided adequate supervision. The citation states specifically that the facility did not implement measures “to minimize or prevent injuries relating to falling out of bed unto [sic] a hard surface” for one resident, and that the facility nursing staff did not ensure the other resident wore proper footwear to prevent falls. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the updating of the residents’ care plans with new interventions to prevent falls.

2. The nursing home did not meet food safety standards. Section 483.60 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes just “Store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” An April 2018 citation found that Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure the food items in “nourishment refrigerators” in certain nursing unites “were stored in accordance with acceptable standards.” The citation states specifically that food in one fridge was not labeled with a resident’s name and was outdated, in contravention of facility policy; that another food item was labeled with a name but not dated; and that outdated food was also present in the fridge. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discarding of the outdated and undated food.

3. The nursing home did not maintain residents’ drug regimens without unnecessary drugs. Section 483.25 of the Federal Codes stipulates that resident drug regimens must “be free from unnecessary drugs.” A March 2016 citation found that Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure one resident “was monitored for use, continued use, and subsequent increase of an antipsychotic medication” recommended by a psychiatrist who saw the resident for “behavioral disturbances.” The citation states that the resident’s records noted that the resident “was reported by nursing to be engaged in an altercation with another resident,” after which a psychiatrist recommended an increase in the medication’s dosage, although the citation states there was no “documentation to substantiate the severity and frequency of the resident’s behaviors” to merit the dosage increase. In an interview, a charge nurse at the facility stated that an investigation revealed the resident in question “was not involved” in such an altercation, and had not exhibited “untoward behavior” at the time of that incident. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included an evaluation of the resident and the tapering of the medication.

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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