On February 28, 2014, a Wisconsin 77-bed nursing home that opened in 2012 was cited by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance with 30 violations as a result of an investigation conducted from September 24, 2013 to January 9, 2014. The nursing home (which bills itself as a “memory care” center) was fined $30,750 for the violations and is subject to a hiring ban until the violations are corrected. The nursing home has decided to not challenge the fine.
One of the more serious citations was for the nursing home hiring a convicted sex offender who worked as the nursing home’s environmental service coordinator. Despite the nursing home conducting a background check before hiring the man, the nursing home’s background check was done improperly. The man was reportedly fired once the nursing home became aware of his conviction for a third-degree sexual offence. The nursing home was also cited for another failure to conduct a proper background check of an employee.
The nursing home was also cited for improperly using electronic monitoring in its daily living areas such as sleeping areas, recreation areas, and dining areas, where electronic monitoring is not permitted. Other violations that were cited include the nursing home’s failure to maintain required documentation regarding the training programs completed by several of its employees and improper assessments of residents’ falls.
It was reported by the nursing home that it had 47 residents, of which one moved out and another was intending to leave shortly.
A spokesperson for the nursing home was quoted as saying, “We have nothing to hide, and we’ve taken care of everything. We think we are doing a good job. Obviously, there is some disagreement on that.” The nursing home reportedly received the official statement of deficiency on March 4, 2014, and it mailed the required plan of correction to appropriate state officials on March 11, 2014.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that its investigations of nursing homes in Wisconsin in 2013 resulted in 65% of them receiving no citations. For those nursing homes that were cited, the average number of citations was 3.2.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services received $979,000 in fines from 399 nursing homes in 2013, which was an increase from the $816,000 collected in fines in 2012.
Nursing homes throughout the United States are cited for violations of applicable state and federal laws and regulations every year. Some of the violations are relatively minor and do not directly have an impact on resident care. However, many nursing homes throughout the United States are cited for violations that involve an immediate threat to residents’ health and well-being — those are the nursing homes that most people would want to avoid when a loved one requires nursing home care.
If you or a family member received inadequate, negligent, or abusive care while a resident of a nursing home or other long-term care facility in the United States, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you in a claim against a nursing home, if appropriate.
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