Substantiate Complaint After Narcotics Theft at Home Care Services
In a report dated September 19, 2016 from the Minnesota Department of Health, it is alleged that two clients from Home Care Services in Springfield Minnesota were financially exploited when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took the client’s narcotic medications.
Narcotic Medication Theft at Home Care Services
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, financial exploitation is substantiated. The alleged perpetrator (AP) took narcotic medications from two clients on several occasions.
Client #1 received services from the home care provider for daily wellness checks, oxygen tank service, assistance with compression stockings, and weekly blood pressure checks according to client’s service agreement. Client #1 had a physician’s order for several strengths of oxycodone (an opioid narcotic) to be taken as needed multiple times per day.
Client #2 received services from the home care provider for transfer assistance when bathing according to the client’s service agreement. Client #2 had a physician’s order for hydrocodone/APAP (an opioid narcotic).
Neither client received medication management service from the home care provider.
A family member reported they suspected a staff member was taking medications from both clients. The housing director sat in Client #1’s apartment while they were out of the apartment at supper. There was a medication bottle on a table in the living room with medication inside. S/he observed the AP knock on the door, enter the apartment, pour medications from Client #1’s medication bottle, and leave the apartment. The staff checked the pill bottle and said it was empty. S/he notified the police. Police came to the facility and the AP admitted s/he took pills from the clients a few times. Police searched the AP and discovered eight pills belonging to Client #1.
Interviews with clients revealed Client #2 was missing 14 hydrocodone/APAP tablets from the pill bottle that was stored in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Client #1 was missing over 20 tablets from the pill bottle that were stored on a table in the living room.
A police report was reviewed. Police searched the AP and interviewed him/her. Police discovered oxycodone tablets belonging to Client #1 in the AP’s pocket. The AP admitted to the police s/he took pills from both clients. Police forwarded their findings to the county attorney for possible criminal charges. Attempts to interview the AP were unsuccessful.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about medication errors, and drug diversion or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.