Minnesota State Seizes Control of Nursing Home Facility
The Minnesota Department of Health for state seizes control of a nursing home in Minneapolis, stating that there have been many safety and health violations that have posed a serious and immediate threat to the well-being of the residents.
This is step that is highly unusual for the Department of Health, but they said that the facility that takes care of the elderly and mentally ill patients committed 80 violations after recent inspections. Many of these violations were considered very serious. In March 2014, it was found that two residents were hospitalized after they were able to access alcohol or drugs while under the care of the facility.
The state was also concerned with the financial condition of the nursing home, finding that their status had deteriorated to a point that caregivers had quit their jobs at the nursing home because they were not getting paid. This left the residents even more vulnerable to neglect because there were not enough staff members to give them proper care. The director of nursing at the nursing home resigned in May 2014, leaving only two nurses at the nursing home and 67 patients to take care of, according to a petition filed in court.
Nursing Home Regulators for State Seizes Control of Nursing Home in Hennepin County
This is the third time since 2009 that state regulators have had to take control of the nursing home after receiving reports that the residents were receiving inadequate care.
The state Commissioner of Health said that the step had to be taken as a last resort because the nursing home was not keeping its residents safe and was not meeting the basic standards of care that are required in Minnesota.
The chief executive officer of the nursing home’s management company said that the home had safety and health concerns when the management company took over the facility three years ago. However, a reduction in the reimbursement rates issued to nursing homes under Medicaid is what he says accounts for about 80 percent of the $4 million in annual revenue the home receives. He said that this reduction has crippled the operations of the facility.
He further stated that without the financial issues, the regulatory issues could have been worked for. However, he states that the financial problems are where the issues originated.
When the takeover occurred, the Department of Health was armed with a court order. A nonprofit organization, Volunteers of America, came with the officials as the acting administrator was told to leave. That night after dinner, the residents were informed of the change.
The home is one that has a mix of residents. The residents mainly consist of those with chemical dependencies, the elderly, and those with mental illnesses. Around half of the residents in the home suffer from dementia.
One resident who lived in the home for 24 years said that the conditions within the home had become intolerable. Earlier in 2014, the facility ran out of one of her Parkinson’s medication and she had to wait a week, causing her head and hands to shake uncontrollably. This had an influence on her quality of life and her health for those seven days.
The woman also said the call light next to her bed stopped working for a number of weeks, keeping her from being able to call for assistance.
In March 2014, inspectors found that the facility had committed 47 violations. When they followed up two months later, they found that 26 of the 47 violations had not yet been fixed. Inspectors also found that the residents were able to wander and elope off of the grounds without staff knowing. The state had warned the nursing home that if their employees quit their jobs, there would be no one to care for the residents.
If you have concerns about any form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.