Columbia Missouri Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Many nursing home residents become victims of abuse and neglect due to their physical infirmity, medical condition or dementia. As vulnerable members of society, the elderly are often easy prey for the most unscrupulous owners, staff and employees at nursing homes nationwide. In fact, the Columbia nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have recognized how greed can play a significant role in cases involving mistreatment of residents who suffer serious harm and injury at the hands of those who are paid to provide them care.
Every nursing home receiving funds from state and federal government agencies are subject to unexpected and unannounced visits by surveyors and investigators. These agencies work hard to ensure that the nursing home remains in compliance with lawful regulations. However, because of a lack of financial backing, scheduled surveys, and unannounced nursing home visits are too far and few between to make real change in preventing many of the cases involving mistreatment and neglect of the elderly, infirmed, and disabled.
Cases involving mistreatment are on the rise in Boone County and in the neighboring communities of Jefferson City, Mexico and Moberly. Out of the more than 175,000 residents living within the boundaries of the county, approximately 18,000 of them are 65 years and older. The aging population has risen substantially in recent years, even though the number of nursing homes has remained almost level. As the demand for nursing home beds has increased, many facilities are struggling to hire competent, qualified staff members and nursing professionals to provide the highest level of care. As a result, many residents have been victimized by mistreatment and abuse.Columbia Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns
Our Columbia elder abuse attorneys have years of experience in handling personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits and nursing home abuse claims for compensation. Our lawyers have proven skills in showing how the wrongful conduct of others caused our clients injuries. We take steps to fight aggressively to ensure our clients receive full recompense for their injury or death of their loved one.
In addition, we continuously review, evaluate and assess publicly available information outlining hazardous conditions, safety violations, filed complaints and opened investigations against nursing homes all throughout Missouri. Family members with a loved one in a nursing facility will often review this information posted below in an effort to determine the level of care the home provides. Others use the information to make the best-informed decision before placing an elderly, infirmed, or disabled parent, grandparent or spouse in a nursing facility in the Columbia area.Comparing Columbia Area Nursing Facilities
The compiled list below by our Boone County nursing attorneys details Columbia area nursing facilities that currently maintain below average ratings compared to other homes nationwide. In addition, we have posted our primary concerns as a part of the details of every nursing facility showing specific cases where the resident was directly or indirectly harmed by negligence, abuse or mistreatment.
COLUMBIA HEALTHCARE CENTER
1801 Towne Drive
Columbia, Missouri 65202
A “For-Profit” 97-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Provide Every Resident All the Necessary Services and Care to Maintain Their Highest Well-Being to Prevent an Immediate Jeopardy
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 07/23/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) [for a resident who had a] written directive for full code status when they found the resident without pulse or respirations.” In addition, the state investigator noted that the facility also failed “to notify the resident’s physician of the resident’s change in condition.”
The complaint investigation involved an interview with the facility’s Licensed Practical Nurse who said “the facility’s normal practice to identify code status is to check for green or red forms in front of the resident’s chart. Red means No Code and green means Full Code [to use all life preserving measures available].” The Licensed Practical Nurse said “if in doubt, the staff should start CPR and call emergency services. The state investigator reviewed the resident’s Medical records to reveal that “the resident was admitted to the facility after a motorcycle vehicle accident, which resulted in a fractured femur (thigh bone) with subsequent hospitalization and surgical repair of the fracture in an acute care hospital.”
The resident’s medical record also contained a Resident Code Status Form that was dated and signed by the resident’s guardian/parents and stated: “If I am found without a heartbeat or pulse: My wishes to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). I understand that CPR consists of chest compressions and artificial breathing. Risks of CPR include broken ribs, severe bruising, punctured lungs, but I’m willing to accept the risks if the effort may save my life.” The medical records also revealed an undated Certified Nursing Assistant Care Card with a check mark that indicated that the resident was Full Code Status.
A written statement was admitted as part of the facility’s investigation that was documented by the Licensed Practical Nurse who stated that “at approximately 12:20 PM, the Certified Nursing Aide called the nursing staff to [the resident’s] room. The resident had black colored emesis [vomit] on the face, ears, nose, sheets and on the floor. They did not detect any vital signs.” At this time, the Licensed Practical Nurse documented that they “last saw the resident approximate 7:30 PM, and [that the resident] was awake without any signs/symptoms of distress.”
As a part of the investigation, the Licensed Practical Nurse also said that when they started their shift “at 6:00 PM, [they] first saw the resident at about 7:30 PM. The Certified Nursing Assistant called [them] to the resident’s room at about 10:20 PM, 10:30 PM and the resident was really dead. [The resident] had been dead a while.”
The Licensed Practical Nurse also indicated that they “did not find a red or green sheet in the resident’s chart [and later stated that they had] found the Resident Code Status Form with the Code Status instructions [… but] did not recall when that was.”
The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was asked what they were “expected to do when [they] found someone without vital signs and unknown Code Status. The LPN replied, “I guess I could do CPR, but the resident was dead a long time.” The LPN also said that they “thought of doing CPR or calling [emergency services] but it was such a mess and [they] wanted to clean the resident up first.”
The LPN also said that they were not sure if they “call the resident’s physician and thought [another Licensed Practical Nurse] did, [and] did not notify the resident’s family because [they] could not find the family’s phone number.” At that point, the Licensed Practical Nurse “called another staff person who helped [them] to find the contact information, [and another LPN] notified the family.”
The state investigator conducted an interview with the facility’s Social Services Director who indicated that the Licensed Practical Nurse had called them at 11:05 PM that evening and said the resident had passed away. At that point, the Social Services Director explain “how to find the contact information [and asked the LPN if they] performed CPR and called [emergency services]. When the Licensed Practical Nurse said that they had not performed CPR, the Social Services Director said that “the resident was a full code [and] that they did not put the green sheet indicating Full Code on the chart because the resident came in late [on the date of admission] and died the following night.”
A telephone interview was conducted with the resident’s sibling who said that they had gone to the facility that evening at approximately 8:30 PM “to bring the resident clothing [… but] did not see the resident because [they] did not want to get the resident excited at this hour in case [they were] already settled in for the night.” The sibling gave clothing to an employee to be placed into the resident’s room at a later time.
A telephone interview was conducted with the resident’s physician who indicated that “the staff did not call [them] regarding the resident’s death until about 10 hours later when [they] received a follow-up call from the facility’s Administrator.” The resident’s physician “expected the staff to initiate CPR and call [emergency services] in such a situation and expected to be notified immediately.”
The state investigator noted that at the time of the abbreviated survey [into the investigation], the violation was determined to be an immediate jeopardy.”
Our Columbia nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to follow procedures and protocols during emergency situations could cause an immediate jeopardy to the resident. The deficient practice of the nursing staff in their failure to provide life-saving measures during emergency event might be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions failed to follow the facility’s policy title: CPR Policy/Procedure that reads in part:
“The staff is directed to check the resident’s medical record for CPR and no CPR, call paramedics, attending physician and administrative personnel when they find a resident without pulse or respirations. A physician pronounces the resident dead.”
RIVERDELL CARE CENTER
1121 11th Street
Boonville, Missouri 65233
A “For-Profit” 60-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Ensure That Every Resident is Provided an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents from Occurring
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 02/18/2016, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility's failure to “ensure resident safety while smoking and using oxygen for [a resident] at the facility.”
The deficient practice was noted by state surveyor after reviewing a resident’s MDS (Minimum Data Set) that revealed that the resident was “cognitively intact and uses oxygen. In addition, a review of the resident’s 01/21/2016 Plan of Care reveals that facility staff assesses the resident’s care needs, noting that the resident “requires continuous oxygen [and] is a smoker and has been educated concerning the risk of being on oxygen and smoking.” The documentation also reveals that the resident is “able to manage [their] oxygen and smoking, smokes independently [and is] aware of designated smoking areas.”
The state investigator further reviewed the resident’s 01/21/2016 Plan of Care that documented a “handwritten note by staff to educate the resident to turn the oxygen off while smoking.” In addition, the resident’s 01/14/2016 Safe Smoking Assessment [that is used by the staff members to determine if the resident is safe to smoke independently and require staff supervision] revealed that the “staff assess the resident is safe to smoke independently with set up and may maintain own supplies.”
The state investigator observed the resident at 12:55 PM on 02/17/2016 that showed that “the resident was outside on the porch smoking a cigarette with [their] nasal cannula on and the oxygen turned on. At this time, DHSS [Department of Health and Senior Services] surveyors intervened and brought the Director of Nursing to the resident to check the oxygen on the resident.”
During an interview conducted at 1:30 PM on 02/17/2016, a Certified Nursing Assistant providing the resident care “that the resident smokes in the smoke room or outside, on his own, without supervision [and that they had] witnessed the resident smoking with oxygen on last week.” In addition, the Certified Nursing Assistant said that they “reported the incident, but could not recall who [they] reported to.”
That same afternoon at 4:00 PM, during an interview with a Licensed Practical Nurse, it was revealed that the nurse “would expect the staff to notify [them] if the resident had smoked with [their] oxygen on.” In addition, the Licensed Practical Nurse said that they “were not informed that the resident had been seen smoking with [their] oxygen on.”
A few minutes later at 4:23 PM on 02/17/2016, the facility’s Director of Nursing “said that the resident was educated on oxygen safety and the importance of turning the oxygen off and removing the nasal cannula prior to smoking.” In addition, the Director also indicated that they “did not educate the resident on how far the oxygen needs to be away from the smoking materials [and] that she was not aware [that] the resident smoked with oxygen on.” The Director also indicated that “she would expect the staff to notify [her] if the resident is observed smoking with oxygen on [and] she expects staff to notify oncoming staff if the resident had been smoking with oxygen on.”
Our Boonville nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide every resident an environment free of accident hazards and provide adequate supervision to prevent an avoidable accident from occurring could place the health of the resident in Immediate Jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff to take appropriate measures when a resident using oxygen smokes independently could be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions failed to follow the facility’s March 2004 policy title: Oxygen Administration Policy that reads in part:
“The facility may impose smoking restrictions on residents at any time if it is determined that the resident cannot smoke safely with the available levels of support and supervision.”
GOLDEN LIVINGCENTER – JEFFERSON CITY
3038 West Truman Blvd
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
A “For-Profit” 87-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility
Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars
Primary Concerns –
Failure to Ensure That Residents Are Provided an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Accident from Occurring
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 06/08/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “ensure the safety of [a resident at the facility] who was transported by the facility to [their] cardiologist appointment and left unattended by facility staff.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Golden Living Center – Jefferson City require the resident to utilize “a personal alarm pad in [their] wheelchair to alert staff of [their] attempts to rise from the chair unassisted due to a history of falls.”
A part of the complaint investigation Involved a review of a Resident’s August 2014 Fall Risk Assessment that revealed that the facility had scored the resident as a 15, where a score of 10 or higher indicates a high risk for falls. In addition, the state investigator reviewed the resident’s 03/08/2015 Plan of Care that revealed that the staff had “recorded the resident was at risk for falls related to a history of falls and impaired mobility. Further review shows the Care Plan directed staff to provide the following interventions for the resident: provide the resident with frequent reminders to call for staff when needing assistance; adjust the resident’s bed in a low position [and] apply a bed alarm” as a way to alert the staff anytime the resident attempts to rise without assistance.
The state investigator reviewed the facility’s 1:43 PM 05/02/2015 Nurses Notes that revealed that the staff had documented that “the resident attempted to transfer [themselves] from the wheelchair to the bed and slid to the floor.” In addition, the facility’s 1:00 PM 05/28/2015 Weekly Planner revealed that “the resident was scheduled for a cardio appointment.
The resident’s 05/20/2015 4:42 PM Cardiologist Nurse’s Notes show that “staff recorded the resident was dropped off and left unattended in the cardio waiting room by the driver from the facility.”
The state investigator interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing at 10:20 AM on 05/29/2015. The Director said “due to the resident’s history of falls, someone should have stayed with [them] at the cardiology office. In addition, a 10:30 AM 06/08/2015 interview with the Licensed Practical Nurse providing the resident care it was revealed that “typically the resident was alert and oriented and would be able to go to the appointments alone, but you never know when [they] might have an off day and be confused.”
Our Jefferson City nursing home neglect attorneys recognize it failing to provide every resident adequate supervision to prevent an avoidable fall from occurring could place their health and well-being in jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff in providing substandard supervision might be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions violate both federal and state nursing home regulations.