Six South Carolina nursing homes, including one in Columbia, were publicly identified as being eligible for additional oversight by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
PruittHealth Blythewood, located at 1075 Heather Green Drive, was listed as a special focus facility candidate for its “persistent record of poor care,” according to a report released by two Pennsylvania senators.
After two investigations into Pennsylvania’s nursing homes by PennLive, Sen. Bob Casey and Sen. Pat Toomey teamed up to demand the list of special focus facility candidates and released the list publicly on June 3. Previously, only the names of special focus facility program participants were made public.
The secrecy undermines the federal commitment to transparency for families struggling to find nursing homes for loved ones and raises questions about why the names of some homes are not disclosed while others are publicly identified, according to the two senators.
In South Carolina, Riverside Health and Rehab in North Charleston is a special focus facility. Five other nursing homes are listed as candidates for the program:
▪ Commander Nursing Center in Florence City
▪ Blue Ridge of Sumter
▪ Life Care Center of Hilton Head
▪ Compass Post Acute Rehabilitation in Conway
▪ PruittHealth-Blythewood in Columbia
The Columbia nursing home that can house about 120 residents, according to its Medicare.gov profile, was fined over $100,000 in 2017. In September 2017, federal regulators slapped a $99,267 penalty on PruittHealth-Blythewood. That was after the facility was forced to pay $4,237 in March of that year.
The Columbia nursing home’s overall rating on Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare site is “much below average.” PruittHealth-Blythewood received a one-star rating and five health citations at an inspection on Oct. 5.
During that visit, inspectors reported meeting a resident with “long, dirty fingernails,” who was not helped to brush his teeth and had only three documented showers in the previous three months. Several other residents also received infrequent documented showers, the report said.
Other residents reported hours-long delays when they asked for help, even for something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. Those were attributed in part to the facility being short-staffed, according to the inspection report.
PruittHealth-Blythewood also received an “average” rating — three stars — for quality of resident care and for staffing, based on the average number of residents per day, registered nurse hours per resident per day and other criteria.
The facility fell below average when rated on quality of care for long-stay residents. According to the most recent information from Medicare.gov about the nursing home, 7.8% of long-stay residents at PruittHealth-Blythewood experience one or more falls with major injury — double the national average. A high percentage (13.3%) of high-risk long-stay patients also experience pressure ulcers, the report says.
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eleven Minnesota nursing homes are on a list of facilities cited by federal officials for patterns of health and safety violations.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Aging released a list of 400 nursing homes across the country that are in need of tighter oversight. The facilities were identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press says two nursing homes in Rochester and Red Wing already receive twice the normal amount of inspections and risk losing federal funding if problems are not addressed.
The 11 facilities identified for stricter oversight are just 3 percent of Minnesota’s nursing homes. The state has about 375 nursing facilities that serve 40,000 residents.
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The patient from Long Beach Healthcare Center was rushed to a hospital in August 2018 with an abdomen so distended from constipation that it looked as if she had “three soccer balls inside of her stomach,” according to state records.
She died 12 days later due to respiratory failure and severe sepsis from a urinary tract infection and pneumonia. A state investigation later found that the staff at Long Beach Healthcare Center made several critical errors, including not properly monitoring the woman’s deteriorating condition and failing to report that she had not had bowel movement for seven days.
The Wrigley-area facility in February was issued a rare “AA” citation—the state’s most serious violation when it’s determined that a nursing home directly caused a resident’s death.
Long Beach Healthcare Center is one of two Long Beach facilities that are named on a federal list of nearly 400 nursing homes across the country with serious ongoing health, safety or sanitary problems.
The list, released this month by U.S. senators, notes facilities with a “persistent record of poor care” that haven’t previously been released to the public, according to a Senate report.
The fact that the list has not been released to the public in previous years undermines the federal commitment to ensure transparency for families struggling to find nursing homes for loved ones and raises questions about why the names of some homes are not disclosed while others are publicly identified, according to two senators who released the report.
“We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., issued the report.
About 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes; they are cared for in more than 15,700 facilities. The senators’ report noted that problem nursing homes on both lists account for about 3 percent of the total.
In California, which has the country’s largest concentration of nursing homes, 34 facilities were on the list. Overall, California’s nursing homes average about 12.5 health citations, compared to 7.9 nationwide.
Records show that Long Beach Healthcare Center and the other facility on the federal list—Windsor Gardens Convalescent Center of Long Beach—have a history of health citations, according to the Nursing Home Compare website, which is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Long Beach Healthcare Center has 39 citations—more than three times the state average. Windsor Gardens has 22 citations, including one from July when a resident was found restrained in bed and soiled with feces and urine.
Both facilities are rated one of out five stars on the federal website, indicating they are “much below average.”
Jon Peralez, an administrator for Windsor Gardens, in a statement said the facility acknowledges that is it on the list and will “continue to make improvements that maintain and improve the quality of care.” A representative of Long Beach Healthcare Center could not be reached for comment.
Michael Connors, a spokesman for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said the federal ratings provide only a snapshot of problem facilities because they include only federal sanctions, not state violations recorded by state inspectors.
The problem in California, he said, is much worse.
“There are hundreds of poor-quality nursing homes here in California,” he said. “This list only identifies a handful of them.”
Connors said the problem is due to understaffing, poor oversight and a complicated web of “unscrupulous” companies that are allowed to own chains of nursing homes. Connors said for-profit entities have been able to acquire nursing homes even without state approval.
Records show that Windsor Gardens in Long Beach is owned by Blythe/Windsor Country Park Healthcare Center LLC, while Long Beach Healthcare Center’s owner is listed as Long Beach Healthcare Center LLC.
Problem facilities that have faced multiple sanctions are rarely closed, Connors said.
“The state almost never closes them, in fact not only does it not close them, it allows the operators who are responsible for this poor care to continue to operate and acquire more nursing homes,” he said. “It’s really a troubling system.”
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It can be hard to quantify the problem of elder abuse. Experts believe that many cases go unreported. And Wednesday morning, their belief was confirmed by two new government studies.
The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that’s required by law.
One of the studies focuses solely on the possible abuse of nursing home residents who end up in emergency rooms. The report looks at claims sent to Medicare in 2016for treatment of head injuries, body bruises, bed sores and other diagnoses that might indicate physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe neglect.
Gloria Jarmon, deputy inspector general for audit services, says her team found that nursing homes failed to report nearly 1 in 5 of these potential cases to the state inspection agencies charged with investigating them.
“Some of the cases we saw, a person is treated in an emergency room [and] they’re sent back to the same facility where they were potentially abused and neglected,” Jarmon says.
But the failure to record and follow up onpossible cases of elder abuse is not just the fault of the nursing homes. Jarmon says that in five states where nursing home inspectors did investigate and substantiate cases of abuse, “97% of those had not been reported to local law enforcement as required.”
State inspectors of nursinghomes who participated in the study appeared to be confused about when they were required to refer cases to law enforcement, Jarmon notes. One state agency said that it contacted the police only for what it called “the most seriousabuse cases.”
Elder abuse occurs in many settings — not just nursing homes. The second study looked at Medicare claims for the treatment of potential abuse or neglect of older adults, regardless of where it took place. The data were collected on incidents occurring between January of 2015 and June of 2017.
The federal auditors projected that, of more than 30,000 potential cases, health care providers failed to report nearly a third of the incidents to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services, even though the law requires them to make such reports.
“It’s very important that the first person who notices this potential abuse and neglect reports it, because then they can begin the investigative process to determine if abuse or neglect occurred,” says Jarmon. “And if it’s not reported, it can’t be tracked.”
The HHSreport says that Medicare could do a better job of analyzing the data it has on hand. It recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the health care program for older Americans, should periodically examine claims for treatment, looking for diagnoses that suggest possible abuse or neglect, as well as where and when those cases occur.
“You have to be able to get the data to see how bad the problem is,” says Jarmon, “so that “everybody who can take action has it.”
However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which pays for much of the health care for seniors and provides guidance on the reporting required ofhealth care workers and health care facilities, has rejected most of the reports’ recommendations.
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OGDEN (ABC4 News) – Incidents of elder abuse and neglect are coming to light after two U.S. senators recently released a previously secret list of the 400 worst nursing homes in the United States and one of those facilities is located in Ogden.
Of the 103 nursing homes in the state of Utah, Lomond Peak Nursing and Rehabilitation is the only one to be classified as a Special Focus Facility meaning that inspectors found so many violations here they’re at risk of losing their Medicare certification.
A 28-page report detailing a November 2018 inspection of Lomond Peak details numerous incidents of abuse & neglect. Inspectors found 33 cases of urinary tract infections in female patients and residents fighting over cigarettes.
FULL REPORT: UNCOVERING POOR CARE IN AMERICA’S NURSING HOMES
Utah’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Daniel Musto says his team investigates these types of complaints every day and things can change drastically when facilities have new ownership or management.
“You can have a facility that’s running great a new owner will come along and it goes downhill,” Musto said.
Musto says before you put your loved one into a nursing or assisted living facility, check out the comparisons on https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html.
He also recommends visiting the prospective facility at different times of the day, including meal times and meeting with the Resident Council President, who will be aware of all incidents and concerns. He adds that you can’t judge a facility by its appearance.
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Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, released the names of nearly 400 nursing homes nationwide with poor safety records that, until Monday, had not been publicly identified.
The Kentucky nursing homes included in the list are:
Klondike Center, Louisville
Springhurst Health and Rehab, Louisville
River Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Paducah
Woodcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Elsmere
Mountain Manor of Paintsville, Paintsville
Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Owensboro
Problems at Louisville nursing homes
Representatives with Klondike Center and Springhurst Health and Rehab did not immediately return requests for comment.
On the federal Nursing Home Compare website, Klondike Center, 3802 Klondike Lane, received a rating of “Much Below Average.”
Among the complaints against Klondike Center detailed in federal reports is a failure by staff in May 2018 to immediately notify a resident’s doctor when needed medication was not available to treat the resident.
The resident “had periods of confusion and an elevated ammonia level during the time when the medication was not administered,” according to the report.
Klondike Center’s failure to have “an effective system in place” to ensure physicians were notified when residents did not receive their medications “has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a resident,” the report noted.
In August 2018, a resident accused a male staffer at Klondike Center of sexual assault. Investigators determined the facility did not remove the alleged perpetrator from his role to “prevent the potential for further abuse.”
Klondike Center also failed to train staff on abuse prevention after the allegation, according to the report.
The nursing home was hit with a $13,627 fine in November 2018 and a $104,878 fine in October 2017, according to records.
Springhurst Health and Rehab, 3001 N. Hurstbourne Parkway, also received a one-star rating on Medicare.gov and has received numerous complaints in the past few years.
In January, investigators said a medication cart was left unlocked and unattended with two drawers open in the middle of a hallway.
Investigators also described in undated incidents how open food items with no dates or labels and expired food and drinks were found in Springhurst Health and Rehab.
A walk-in freezer had no thermometer and chemicals were stored in areas where food was prepared, according to reports.
Springhurst Health and Rehab has received 23 health citations, according to its Nursing Home Compare page, well above the average of 5.3 citations given to facilities in Kentucky and 7.9 given nationwide.
The nursing home was hit with fines of $250,023 in May 2018 and $88,021 in May 2017, according to the Nursing Home Compare website.
River Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah also was mentioned among cases of nursing home neglect and abuse in the Senate report.
One resident at the facility who suffered from a burn wound and was receiving treatment that included a skin graft did not have their “dressing changed or showers administered as ordered,” according to the report.
State investigators at the Paducah facility found the individual “lying in bed with a large amount of green drainage on (their clothing) and a pool of green drainage on the bed sheets,” the Senate report said.
The resident told investigators they were not sure the last time their clothing had been changed.
“As evidenced by this report, oversight of America’s poorest quality nursing homes falls short of what taxpayers should expect,” the senators concluded.
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