Florida nursing home placed on national watch list

Nursing Home Sexual AssaultAn alleged sexual assault of a resident at a Florida nursing home by one of its staff members that went by without any investigation has landed that facility on a national “hall of shame” list that restricts it from accepting most new patients.

According to a report from WFTV-TV in Volusia County, Fla., the Avante at Ormond Beach Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation home was put on a national watch list after accumulating numerous negative reports at the lack of quality care delivered by staff there. The latest incident was the one that put the facility on the list, certainly.

In January of this year, a resident at Avante at Ormond Beach said she saw a staff member at the nursing home sexually assaulting one of her roommates. After reporting the incident to administrators at Avante at Ormond Beach, the resident realized that nothing had ever come of her allegation and no investigation had been launched. 

The Dept. of Health and Human Services says the failure of the nursing home to immediately investigate that very serious claim put every resident of the facility in danger of potentially being another victim of an assault. This egregious error on the part of administrators at the nursing home is the latest in a series of what could only be described as negligent and abusive care at the facility, according to the report.

Being placed on this national watch list is no easy feat. There are more than 700 nursing homes in Florida and Avante at Ormond Beach is just the seventh to be placed on this watch list. Florida, as we’ve reported numerous times in the past, was once a haven for retirees and elderly residents who would likely depend on competent quality care in these facilities but has drifted far from that image.

But while the lack of quality care at many Florida nursing home facilities has been well documented in the last few years, few could be as bad as the conditions at Avante at Ormond Beach, based on the exclusive nature of this watch list. Now, the nursing home will be prohibited from accepting any new Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible residents until it shows that care has improved and that their residents’ basic safety is paramount.

While the other incidents are not detailed in the WFTV report, residents told reporters that a depleted and overworked staff is likely to blame for many of the problems the facility faces. And while many residents defended some staff and administration at the home, it’s clear that ordinary safeguards are not being implemented to ensure negligence or abuse is not common there. That includes proper background screening of prospective employees to avoid situations such as the one that landed Avante at Ormond Beach on this dubious roll.

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