Cincinnati.com and Kentucky.com both had articles on the decision by Extendicare Health Services Inc to leave Kentucky.  I’m sure the nursing home residents of Kentucky are relieved.  Incredibly, Extendicare blames litigation and politicians for the move instead of themselves for providing poor care resuling in neglect, abuse, and wrongful death.

Three nurse’s aides at one of Extendicare’s facilities pleaded guilty to abuse of an adult after being caught on a hidden video camera abusing an elderly resident but all three had received diverted sentences.

Bernie Vonderheide, who founded Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, said he didn’t think the state would suffer from Extendicare’s departure. “We need nursing homes that abide by the regulations and provide good care,” he said. “Then they don’t have to worry about being sued.”

The company says it will lease its 21 facilities to a long-term care operator in Texas, but declined to identify the company.   Why wouldn’t they name the shell company?  Extendicare is based in Ontario, Canada, with U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee.

Seattlepi.com had an article about the lawsuit against the infamous Extendicare.  See article here.

The article mentions that the lawsuit against Extendicare has been expanded to include new allegations that the homes admitted residents with disregard to meeting their needs in order to boost profits. The suit also alleges that Milwaukee-based Extendicare Health Services violated consumer protection laws by advertising high-quality, skilled nursing care and failing to deliver.

Extendicare, which runs one of the largest nursing-home chains in North America, violated a state law that bars nursing homes from making residents sign a form waiving liability for injury or property loss. Extendicare is "more interested in protecting themselves from liability and thereby increasing profits than protecting the rights, health and safety of their own elderly and vulnerable residents," the complaint states.

Federal records show that nearly all of Extendicare’s Washington homes have higher-than-average scores for health deficiencies from state inspectors.

 

On Seattlepi.com there was an article about the tragic death of Lee Ann Steele caused by the understaffing and neglect of a for profit nursing home.

Lee Ann, who had suffered a stroke,  lived at Aldercrest Health & Rehabilitation Center.  She needed a tracheotomy. The Steele family had felt assured by the facility’s promises of skilled, high quality care, but less than 24 hours after their daughter was admitted, her tracheal tube clogged with mucous, causing oxygen loss and brain damage. Lee Ann Steele, once a vibrant church secretary who had volunteered at a food bank, died a few months later, in January 2007. She was 49.

The family wanted answers so they filed a lawsuit against Exyendicare Homes, Inc., the company that owns and manges the facility.   The complaint, filed in King County, accuses Milwaukee-based Extendicare of violating consumer-protection laws by advertising "quality standards above government regulations" and failing to deliver.

The lawsuit highlights problems regarding Extendicare, one of the largest nursing-home chains in America. The company runs 268 facilities for up to 30,000 residents.  In Washington, two of the company’s homes are on a federal list of troubled facilities that require extra inspections by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Four of its homes, including Aldercrest, have been barred in the past from accepting new residents. Five have been hit with fines totaling thousands of dollars.  Many complaints, including those alleging wrongful deaths, stemmed from neglect and poor treatment for such conditions as pressure sores and diabetes.

She said the company appeared to have a high turnover in management. She also said the homes routinely accepted more residents — and more acutely sick residents — than staff members could handle. 

On Oct. 5, 2006, the day Steele was admitted, her family found her lying on a sheetless rubber mattress and her tracheal-tube equipment on the floor, unhooked, with no one attending to her for several hours.  Steele  suffered respiratory distress and died soon after.