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Fellsmere Nursing Homes Have Average 7-8 Health Deficiencies

A nursing home in New York found itself with the undesirable title of the nation’s worst nursing home, with inspections over the last three months turning up dozens of deficiencies. checklist.jpg

Our Fellsmere nursing home abuse attorneys would note, however, that Florida has far more nursing homes than New York, and what’s more, the average nursing home inspection turns up about six or seven deficiencies.

In looking at some issues in the Fellsmere area, our lawyers decided to explore the government ratings of the nursing homes in the 32948-area code. Medicare.gov now provides a comprehensive list of nursing homes by area, as well as their overall ratings, health inspection results and recent grievances and complaints.

Of the 11 nursing home facilities that turned up in this area, seven received two or fewer stars out of five for overall rating. Three facilities receiving just one star.

Let’s look at an example of each. (We’ll leave out the names, but you can conduct your own search by visiting medicare.gov.)

One of those with a two-star, overall rating is certified as having 110 beds. At its most recent health inspection, it was cited for 19 health deficiencies. (The average number of health deficiencies in Florida is 6.8, while nationally, it’s 7.5.)

Inspectors determined that the health care providers at the facility failed to:

–Develop procedures that would prevent influenza and other communicable diseases;
–Limit the number of charges against the personal funds of residents for items paid for by Medicare or Medicaid;
–Keep resident’s medical and personal records confidential;
–Provide care in a way that keeps or builds residents’ dignity;
–Serve, cook and store food in a clean and safe way;
—Make sure that residents’ nutritional needs were met.
–Make sure that each patient’s drug regiments were accurate;
–Properly maintain drug records and make sure patients are safe from serious medication errors;
–Keep all essentially equipment in safe working condition;
–Give residents proper treatment for bedsores.

The list goes on.

Also within the last year, nine complaints were lodged and substantiated against this facility. Some of those included failure to properly manage residents’ money, failure to protect patients from serious medical errors and failure to have a back-up water supply essential for areas of the nursing home. None of those were found to inflicted substantial harm, but the risk was certainly there.

Now, let’s look at a one-star rated facility:

This facility is a 159-bed facility and reportedly logged 22 health deficiencies within the last year. Those include the failure to:

–Write and use policies that forbid mistreatment, abuse and neglect of residents and theft of residents’ property;
–Assist residents who need total help with grooming, hygiene and eating and drinking;
–Resolve resident complaints quickly;
–Safely store, cook and serve food in a clean and safe way;
–Safely provide drugs and make sure each patient’s drug plan is well-managed and monitored;
–Properly dispose of garbage and refuse;
–Ensure the home is free of accident and hazard risks;
–Keep the facility clean.

Additionally, there have been eight substantiated complaints in the last year, including failures to:

–Honor all of the residents’ rights, free of reprisal and coercion;
–Provide necessary care to maintain the highest well being of each resident;
–Give the right treatment and services to those who are having problems mentally adjusting;
–Keeping accurate and complete records.

And yet, both of these facilities remain operational – in YOUR community.

It’s up to family and loved ones to be vigilant about choosing a nursing home, and then also watching for telltale signs of potential abuse.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Medicare.gov, Nursing Home Results, Fellsmere

More Blog Entries:
Doctors’ Stress Levels Affect Nursing Home Patient Care, Aug. 28, 2012, Fellsmere Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Blog

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