Nursing Home Fined Repeatedly for Poor Wound Care

Health officials in one state have once found a health care center for the elderly in violation of rules and regulations for a second time this summer. The 120-bed for-profit nursing home paid the state a $10,000 fine this summer for failing to follow its own policies and procedures on caring for and preventing pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores, and decubitus ulcers). According to a state report, the facility had a patient who developed a pressure sore that grew so severe it required surgery to remove the tail bone. In a survey at the end of July, state health officials confirmed that the facility had paid the fine and that the deficiencies had been sufficiently corrected.

The facility has a past of issues with their wound care.  Medicare stopped paying for new admissions to the facility for 28 days in September last year due to violations of federal care requirements. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also fined the facility $68,000 for the non-compliance. In addition, in December of 2009, the facility paid the state a fine of  over $11,000 for violations, including failing to monitor corrective actions for wound care, and failing to provide appropriate treatment for pressure ulcers.

The most recent incident receiving a fine was described in a state report. According to the report, the patient entered the facility in mid-September without any pressure ulcers. By October a sore had developed and when the facility failed to properly treat the ulcer it spread to the bone as osteomylelitis (a bone infection), the report says. The patient required surgery in December to remove infected soft tissue, the coccyx bone and a portion of the sacrum, the report says.The patient returned in January from the hospital. The state report says the facility still failed to have staff members trained to promote wound-healing. As a result, the resident had to have an additional surgery to repair the damage. Currently there are three pending lawsuits against the facility. It has a one-star rating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a "D" rating by the state health department. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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