WKBN reported on the problems at Campus Health Care owned and operated by New Beginnings Care which owns more than a dozen nursing homes across the country, and many of them are in trouble.  Campus Health Care shut down suddenly after bad state inspections.  The nursing home made a Jan. 21 federal list of the “worst of the worst” nursing homes, and inspectors in late January found signs of neglect, including patients’ whose adult diapers were saturated with urine and feces. A report said the facility was understaffed because nurses and administrators had quit since they weren’t getting paid.   New Beginnings Care, a Hixson-based business that operated nursing homes in five states, has declared bankruptcy after government regulators cited patient neglect and cut off federal payments at some of the company’s facilities.

A former worker reached out to WKBN and said he’s glad that happened.

I love older people, and seeing them treated wrong, that they did the way that they did to them, I’m kinda scared to go back in to another nursing home,” former employee Erick Haywood said.

Haywood said he saw many problems with how New Beginnings operated the nursing home. He said he would go shopping for the residents with his supervisor.

We didn’t have food for our residents. So we would have to go shopping at Walmart,” Haywood said. “She used to have to come out of her own pocket and we would shop at Walmart and get our residents food for breakfast and lunch and dinner.”

Chymika Redd worked at Campus for about 2 years, along with her mother and her daughter. She says she loved her job, but didn’t have the tools and supplies she needed.

Some days it was unbearable. Because we never had what we needed to serve our residents,” former Campus worker Chymika Redd said.

Everyone tried to make the best of it, she said, even when insurance policies were canceled and pay checks started bouncing.

There (were) always shortages of a lot of stuff,” Redd said. “But I think we all did what we could. We really did.”

State and federal investigators found conditions were bad enough to shut down nursing homes it ran in Ohio and Georgia and remove all the Medicare and Medicaid patients from a nursing home in eastern Tennessee.

The John M. Reed Nursing Home, which was founded 52 years ago by the Church of the Brethren, hired New Beginnings in April 2013 to manage the nursing home. Two and half years later, the nursing home lost 40 of its 43 patients after a state survey in December, 2015 found numerous deficiencies. Regulators said the staff managed by New Beginnings failed to ensure timely patient incontinence care, didn’t prevent avoidable pressure ulcers, and failed to administer antibiotics as ordered by the physician.

 

The Augusta Chronicle reported that Amara Healthcare and Re­habili­tation, previously known as Salem Nursing and Rehab Center, will seek to evade responsibility by filing bankruptcy instead of fairly compensating residents who were neglected.  The facility has repeatedly rated “below average” to “much below average” on the five-star rating system that relies on health inspection reports and patient care issues such as pressure ulcers.

A business that files Chapter 11 bankruptcy seeks protection from creditors’ possible lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances. Any reorganization plan must be approved by a majority of its creditors.  The Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed and lists assets and debts at $1 million to $10 million.

According to the petition, the company has between 100 and 199 creditors, including the estates of several people, along with several medical providers, utility companies and food service businesses.  The largest creditor listed in the petition is Me­di­cal Arts Health Care at $291,783.

WPXI reported on the fear that nursing homes allow sexual offenders to be residents without notifying residents and their families.  It is bad enough that there is an epidemic of sexual assaults by caregivers, now families have to be worried about other residents!

While some states have passed laws requiring nursing homes to notify patients and families when a registered sex offender moves in, a Target 11 investigation revealed that no such law exists in Pennsylvania. Target 11’s Rick Earle took the addresses of nursing homes and cross referenced them to the addresses of registered sex offenders on the Megan’s Law website in order to find which local nursing homes have sex offenders as residents.

A study by “A Perfect Cause,” a nursing home advocacy group, in 2005 found that there were 1,600 registered sex offenders in long-term care facilities across the country, and they documented more than 60 crimes, including rapes and assaults.

 

CBS local affiliate Local21News reported that maggots were found in a patient’s feeding tube at a Golden Living facility.  This facility and over 20 other Golden LivingCenters in Pennsylvania have been under fire by the Attorney General’s office which filed suit this summer.  Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane last summer filed suit against 14 Golden Living facilities in Pennsylvania, alleging they are understaffed and fail to meet residents’ basic needs.

The recent inspection report says maggots were found in a patient’s feeding tube, with the nurse reporting “worm like bugs found crawling all around the PEG tube and surrounding tissue.”  he report of the Oct. 22 inspection said a nursing assistant noticed a maggot on the stomach of a patient with a feeding tube. A nurse later examined the tube entry site and found “worm-like” insects in and around the insertion site. The resident was subsequently taken to the hospital, where “multiple maggot looking” insects were found in the insertion site. The hospital said the skin around the tube “indicated severe neglect of wound care and proper cleaning,” according to the report.

The report also says feeding tubes were not changed as required 9obviously!), improper pest control was discovered, and improper hydration of patients was found. Those are just a few of the 31 deficiencies reported by inspectors on October 22, according to Medicare.gov.  The information comes from Medicare.gov.

Other Golden LivingCenters in the area are receiving a below average rating from that reporting site.  Back in September, the Attorney General’s Office filed a suit against the nursing home organization, a suit that includes over 20 of their facilities.

Thursday a spokesperson from the AG’s office wrote the following in an email:

Hundreds of complaints that have been made to our office since the announcement of the lawsuit have reaffirmed our position that pervasive issues exist in Golden Living facilities. We believe this is a very critical consumer protection case and we are committed to seeing it through.

 

 

McKnight’s had an article on new research that shows how injured nursing home workers are twice as likely to be fired within six months.  Investigators analyzed direct care worker data from 30 New England nursing homes to examine workplace policies on workers’ health, safety and well-being.  The results showed that injured nursing home workers were twice as likely to be fired within the next six months, while those with multiple injuries were twice as likely to quit their jobs within six months. Workers were also more likely to get injured during their first few months at a new job, so frequent turnover increases the chances that an injured worker will be injured again at their new workplace, the researchers noted.

The results may also show that federal and state regulations in place to protect workers from being fired after an injury, or give them compensation and time to recover, are not followed by some nursing facilities.  Results of the study appear online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Fox9 reported the tragic and preventable death of nursing home resident Theresa Rotter, known as “Toots.  She died because her care facility gave her the wrong dinner.  And the facility blames the fatal neglect on a computer issue.  “Toots,” died following an Easter Sunday meal in 2013. Rotter had dementia, and was on a diet of pureed food, known as a dysphasia diet.

According to the lawsuit, a computer system that provides food serving instructions did not work on holidays, so staff gave Rotter hard food: holiday ham and potatoes au gratin

Really, [the computer system] doesn’t work on holidays. And they know this. So what they do, they do a work around it. They have a food auditor. But the problem is the food auditor doesn’t work on weekends,” Mark Kosieradzki, the attorney for Rotter’s estate, told Fox 9. “If you feed chunked food to a person with dysphasia, you might as well be feeding them rat poison.”

A Minnesota Department of Health investigation determined “neglect occurred” in Rotter’s death. Kosieradzki points to dozens of other citations over the years at Ramsey County Care Center, a Medicaid facility the he argues has a “troubled history.”

Ten other patients were wrongly given hard food on the same Easter Sunday, according to the lawsuit. The complaint asserts claims of negligence, wrongful death, and civil rights violations.

“Theresa Rotter’s not coming back. But maybe Theresa Rotter’s death could result in change in the system,” said Kosieradzki of the Kosieradzki Smit Law Firm.

 

MedCityNews had a great article on the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving forward with its implementation which will significantly affect changes in nursing homes around the use of quality rankings and how they discharge patients to other levels of care.  Many hospitals have already begun the process of “narrowing” their networks based on CMS star ratings.

IMPACT’s intent is to facilitate better transfers for residentss from setting to setting and provide a framework to qualify patient care across the continuum.  A number of proposed changes to the CMS Conditions of Participation (CoP) focus on new discharge planning requirements for all care settings.

Referring organizations (especially hospitals and nursing facilities) will now need to use quality ratings when discharging patients to other levels of care. CMS recommends using Nursing Home Compare and Home Health Compare until another set of measures is available.  Another anticipated change requires post-acute providers to augment their discharge planning activities. Additional proposed changes include:

a person-centered care plan that assesses patients’ potential for discharge,

the inclusion of a medication reconciliation process and list in the patient’s discharge summary, and

a post-discharge follow-up addressed in the discharge plan of care.

Hospitals and other referral and transition sources will leverage quality data more in helping patients decide which nursing facility to choose.  Monitoring the star rating performance will be key to receiving referrals from upstream providers.

The discharge planning process for skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies will be more complicated as CMS continues to focus on “good” handoffs from setting to setting.  Looking for ways to increase efficiency for discharge planning activities will be crucial in meeting the new regulations.

The body of Ralph Ford was found covered in clothes in a dumpster behind the St. Francis Nursing Center in Detroit.  Construction workers found Ford’s body but it wasn’t until much later that day that Detroit Police say workers at the nursing home called to report him as a “serious missing.”  The facility states that Ford, a mentally and physically-impaired 73-year-old resident, rolled his wheelchair away from Detroit’s St. Francis Nursing Center the day before he was found in the dumpster.

The nursing home knew Ford had a tendency to wander and should have taken greater steps, such as installing video monitors and alarms, and properly supervising him to ensure his safety.  Ford’s family chose St. Francis Nursing Center because, according to its own website, it could provide a safe and secure area for residents who have a tendency to wander.  It’s not clear how long Ford was outside the center. The front entrance to the place has a gate and two doors including one that you must buzz to be allowed entry. There is also a table with a security guard and a nurse’s station.

 

A preliminary search of complaints against St. Francis Nursing Center shows there have been 8 out of 44 were upheld since 2014. They include improper investigation by the nursing home in response to the complaints by residents, abuse and rough handling and a family member who claimed a member of the staff stole their relative’s debit card.  Another included one which alleges a staffer made sexual advances and one which alleges a failure to investigate missing money.  There were reports of undernourished patients and “fecal matter in the laundry facility contaminating the linens.”

Not included in the state’s online records is also a 2012 case in which a nurse improperly restrained a patient to a chair using a sheet because he kept getting up.

 

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Richmond Health Facilities – Kenwood, LP, et al. v. Adrianne Nichols, No. 15-5062, that involved a state court lawsuit filed by the personal representative of an individual who died as a result of neglect in a nursing home. The action included a claim for “wrongful death” – a claim authorized by statute. Defendants alleged that  the deceased resident agreed to arbitration to resolve any claims. The contract even said it applied to “wrongful death” claims and it bound all of the deceased’s representatives (which would include the family member who filed the state lawsuit). The nursing home filed an action in federal court to compel the family to arbitrate all of the claims including the wrongful death action.

The 6th Circuit, however, correctly refused to compel the family to arbitrate the wrongful death claim. In doing so, the 6th Circuit affirmed Kentucky law that states wrongful death claims are different. The Kentucky Supreme Court has stated wrongful death claims are independent of the decedent’s survival claim.  The court reasoned that since the deceased did not own the wrongful death claim, the decedent had no right to bind its true owners to any agreement that the claim be arbitrated.  It also ruled that the federal law in favor of arbitration did not preempt or override Kentucky’s case law on the issue.

WBRC reported a controversy at Millennium Nursing and Rehab Center which lost funding after the death of a resident.  Medicare inspectors discovered serious issues inside the nursing home–all related to an incident at the nursing home in 2015.

The Sept. 24, 2015 6-page report from Medicare inspectors say an employee’s actions, or lack thereof, to a resident in distress put that resident in immediate jeopardy, resulting in the resident’s death.

The lone rescuer on site between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. could only detect a very faint pulse and left the room to call a nurse, a physician, and then the patient’s daughter.  She then went back to the room to start CPR, but admitted she stopped after 30 compressions and then returned to the nurses’ station.  The inspection also uncovered that the employee was not certified at the time in CPR – her certification had expired.

All of this went directly against facility guidelines. According to guidelines, employees should immediately call an ambulance, grab a defibrillator if available and then start CPR without stopping until rescuers arrive.  When asked why she didn’t call 911, the employee stated “she was trying to get the resident back and didn’t think to call 911” but said in hindsight, “I should have called 911.”

The employee told inspectors she didn’t use the defibrillator, that when she called a physician, she only got a pager, and that she couldn’t find records to determine if the resident was on a “do not resuscitate” list, which the resident was not.

The facility was given 23 days to rectify issues after this incident or risk losing their Medicare funding. Millennium was instructed to perform an audit of the entire nursing staff’s certifications, carry out mock emergencies frequently, perform retraining, and create a system for nurses to find whether a resident is on a “do not resuscitate” list quickly.