Wingate at Beacon: 19 Reported Covid-19 Deaths

Wingate at Beacon suffered 19 deaths from Covid-19 as of May 24, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 25 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on May 26, 2020. The facility has additionally received three enforcement actions: a 2016 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings in a 2010 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding hydration; a 2016 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings in a 2012 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding feeding via gastrostomy tubes and administrative matters; and a 2012 fine of $24,000 in connection to findings in a 2012 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding accidents and supervision, food, services that meet professional standards, and administrative matters. The Beacon nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not have enough nursing staff. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to have “sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets to provide nursing and related services to assure resident safety and attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.” A September 2018 citation found that Wingate at Beacon did not ensure the availability of such. The citation states specifically that “multiple residents” stated in confidential interviews, as well as during a group meeting, that there were not enough Certified Nursing Aides “to respond to call bells and provide assistance during activities of daily living.” As a result, residents said, it sometimes took an hour to get a response after pressing a call bell; in some cases “showers were not done,” and in another, a resident required help getting off a toilet and waited more than 20 minutes. The citation goes on to state that nursing staff members reported a lack of adequate staffing in all units, and that an analysis of the facility’s staffing scheduled demonstrated that “on multiple occasions” it did not meet the required number of CNAs in all its units. A plan of care implemented by the facility included the identification of minimum staffing members.

2. The nursing home did not prevent the administration of unnecessary drugs. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must ensure resident drug regimens remain “free from unnecessary drugs.” A March 2017 citation found that Wingate at Beacon did not ensure such for one resident. The citation states specifically that the facility failed to address a resident’s use of a redacted medication “in the possible presence of side effects.” The side effect in question was somnolences, or sleepiness, which the citation states “was not addressed” in a psychiatric consultation report.  In an interview, the psychiatrist stated that “he did not address sleepiness because he did not think that the resident’s medications were causing her sleepiness.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discontinuation of the medication.

3. The nursing home did not ensure compliance with food safety standards. Section 483.60 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to store food “in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” A September 2018 citation found that Wingate at Beacon did not ensure foods brought into the facility from outside sources were stored in such a manner in two facility units. The citation states specifically that “multiple containers of food brought in for residents by family members were observed to be out dated.” The citation goes on to state that the facility’s policies contained no language indicating how long such food could be kept in its refrigerators. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discarding of the food items in question and the revision of facility policy regarding food brought from outside sources.

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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