Long Island Nursing Home Fined for Poor Care

The elderly are among our most vulnerable citizens and, often, we are placed in situations in which we have no alternative but to place older relatives in the care of others. Sadly, reports of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/nursing_home_negligence">nursing home abuse are on the rise and include cases of physical, chemical, and sexual abuse. Nanny cams have caught nursing home workers abusing residents and, recently, adding to that list of indignities, we wrote that 15 percent of U.S. nursing homes have received deficiency citations for the ways in which they manage infection.

Now, Long Island Business News reports that the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a watchdog group based in Manhattan, revealed that New York State took actions against two nursing home employees and fined a nursing home. The workers and facility are located on Long Island and the actions took place from January through March of this year. The workers and facility face enforcement actions.

The Coalition used state data to develop a study that revealed that the state fined 21 nursing homes for what it described as “substandard care” and other “safety issues,” said the Long Island Business News.

The Long Island Business News also reported that:

• Actions against 18 other nursing homes were made by the state over placing residents in jeopardy or causing them harm; the most serious problems were identified in Manhattan nursing homes.
• Jail time was given to a licensed practical nurse (LPN) employed at Terence Cardinal Cooke HCC in Manhattan. The LPN received a six-month sentence for treating the wrong resident with methadone and then forging paperwork to eliminate the paper trail.
• A Rockaway Care Center employee was mandated to attend three years of anger management after “stomping” on the chest of an 90-year-old resident who would not sit in his wheelchair.
• Some workers at two Long Island nursing homes were “singled out” by the New York State Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
• The Attorney General placed another LPN from the Medford Multicare Center, on three-year probation for the ongoing practice of treating a resident with cardiac medication without taking the patient’s pulse, which is required, and with forging documents to indicate a pulse was taken.
• The Attorney General took action against an Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation and Health Center worker for picking up a disabled child with no assistance, a violation of the child’s care plan. The worker was placed on a “conditional discharge,” and can be brought back to court if the situation occurs again.
• The Ross Health Care Center was fined $10,000 earlier this year by the Department of Health for “deficiencies” cited in a June 14, 2010 survey that were revealed at its facility in Brentwood. The Center neglected to correctly supervise a deaf, mute, and blind person who fractured a hip in a wheelchair fall; not confirming that the call bell was operational; not ensuring an exit was cleared; and not appropriately storing an oxygen cylinder.

Long Island Business News noted that the state is able to fine facilities up to $2,000 per “deficiency,” up to $5,000 if the violation occurs more than once in a calendar year and creates a safety threat, and up to $10,000 if serious physical harm results from the deficiency.
W just wrote about another study that revealed that about one in seven older New Yorkers suffers from some type of elder or nursing home abuse and the Record Online recently cited a large study of residents over the age of 60 that found that in 2008 alone, a shocking one in 13 older New Yorkers was victimized.

New York State is the operator of 2,000 group homes, which means that the state is responsible to care and protect about 10,000 residents with what The New York Daily News described as “severe physical and mental disabilities.” According to The New York Times, the state is not doing its job, wrote the Daily News, and group home abuse is running rampant.

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