The Plaza Rehab and Nursing Center Cited for Abuse

The Plaza Rehab and Nursing Center received 21 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 7, 2019. The facility was also the subject of a 2010 fine of $6,000 in connection to findings concerning staff treatment of residents, the quality of care it provided to residents, and its organizational and administrative practices. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did ensure residents were protected from abuse. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must ensure residents’ freedom “from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A February 2019 citation found that The Plaza failed to ensure a resident’s freedom from staff abuse in a 2018 incident. The citation specifically describes an exchange in which a resident hit a Certified Nursing Assistant, and the Assistant “retaliated and hit” the resident in return. This contravened the facility’s “zero tolerance policy regarding abuse,” including hitting and slapping, according to the findings. The citation states that the deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

2. The nursing home did not ensure the provision an environment for residents that was free of accident hazards. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure residents’ right to a setting free from accident hazards and with adequate staff supervision to prevent residents from sustaining accidents. A January 2019 citation found that the facility failed to ensure this right in a 2019 instance in which it did not prevent a resident’s elopement. The citation specifically states that at 3:21 AM on the night in question, the resident exited the facility undetected through a “back loading-dock door.” Staff discovered the resident’s absence at approximately 4:00 AM, and were notified by the hospital at 11:35 PM that night that the resident was in its emergency rom. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the termination of a security officer.

3. The nursing home did not properly implement its abuse reporting policies. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure that allegations of abuse are properly reported to state and local authorities. A November 2018 citation found that the nursing home did not report to the Department of Health or law enforcement that a resident’s family reported a concern that the resident “had been raped in the facility.” Although the facility conducted an internal investigation that found “no cause to believe any alleged resident abuse,” according to the citation, it did not report the allegation to the Department of Health. In an interview, the facility’s Administrator stated that it was not reported because the allegation was not substantiated, and that the facility’s manual stated that only substantiated abuse should be reported as such. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the revision of facility policy concerning the reporting of abuse allegations.

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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