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Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Negligence and abuse are rampant in nursing facilities when caregivers behave inappropriately, or other patients physically abuse or sexually assault residents when the facility provides a lack of adequate supervision. In many incidents, the nursing home understaffs their facility or higher nurses and nurses' aides that have not been properly train. Other times, the nursing staff fail to follow established policies and procedures, or the newly hired employees begin working before they have passed the state-run Abuse and Negligent Registry that would indicate a history of mistreatment.
The New Mexico Nursing Home Law Center attorneys have represented many Rio Arriba County victims of mistreatment who were injured while living in a nursing home, assisted living center or rehabilitation facility. Contact us today if your loved one was victimized. Let us begin working on your case now to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve. We can use New Mexico criminal law to ensure that those responsible for harming your loved one are held legally and financially accountable.Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
This long-term care (LTC) home is a "for-profit" 120-certified bed center providing cares and services to residents of Espanola and Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. The Medicare/Medicaid-participating facility is located at:
720 Hacienda Street
Espanola, New Mexico, 87532
In addition to providing 24/7 skilled nursing care, Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center also offers rehabilitation and specialty services that include:
- Physical, occupational and speech therapies
- Language pathology and swallowing management to treat motor speech disorders and aphasia
- Wound care
- Palliative care
- Respite care
- Respiratory therapy
- Social services
- Memory care
- Life nurturing and enhancement care
The federal government and New Mexico nursing home regulatory agencies have the legal authority to penalize any nursing home by denying at Medicare payment or imposing a monetary fine when the facility has been cited for serious violations of regulations. Within the last three years, state investigators have levied penalities against Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on three separate occasions including an $81,640 on March 11, 2016, a $28,625 fine on March 15, 2017, and a $7420 fine on November 9, 2017, for a total of $117,685 in penalties.
Also, Medicare denied two payments for services that the nursing home rendered on March 11, 2016 and November 9, 2017. Within the last thirty-six months, the nursing home received four formal complaints and self-reported one serious problem that resulted in a citation. Additional information concerning penalties and fines can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health Nursing Home Reporting Website concerning this nursing facility.Espanola New Mexico Nursing Home Residents Safety Concerns
Comprehensive research results can be reviewed on the New Mexico Department of Public Health and Medicare.gov nursing home database systems. The data details all incident inquiries, dangerous hazards, opened investigations, health violations, filed complaints, and safety concerns. Many families use this information to determine the level of medical, health and hygiene care long-term care facilities in the local community provide their residents.
According to Medicare, this facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including one out of five stars concerning health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing issues and three out of five stars for quality measures. The Rio Arriba County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found serious deficiencies and safety concerns at Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center that include:
- Failure to Immediately Notify the Resident, the Resident's Doctor or Family Members of a Change in the Resident's Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 20, 2018, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to "notify the Power of Attorney (POA) [involving one resident reviewed when that resident] had fallen in the facility. If the facility is not notifying the POA when the resident has a fall, then the POA is unable to make decisions related to treatment an advocate for the resident's care."
The state investigative team reviewed records and departmental notes concerning the resident that revealed that on December 23, 2017 the resident was found "on the floor with the bed in the lowest position. The resident was awake and alert and confused [stating that] 'I hit my head.' The note did not indicate an attempt to contact the POA."
Approximately seven weeks later on February 7, 2018, the resident fell out of their wheelchair "attempting to get out of the fifth-floor hall door." The documentation shows that the nursing staff attempted to reach the POA who "did not answer the phone." The staff was "unable to leave a message. No other note indicating of another attempt to contact the power of attorney was made." The following day, the resident "stood up and pushed back causing the wheelchair to roll back and he landed on his buttocks area. The note did not indicate an attempt to contact the POA."
Four days later on February 12, 2018 at 3:00 AM, a Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) "was making rounds and observed the resident sitting on a mat next to his bed smiling saying he wanted to get up." The nursing staff indicated that the power of attorney was made "aware of the incident." The state investigator interviewed the power of attorney on the morning of December 13, 2018 who "confirmed that she has only been made aware that [the resident] had one fall on February 12, 2018."
The surveyor interviewed the Social Services Director (SSD) at 3:15 AM on February 14, 2018 who "confirmed that the POA should be contacted when a resident has a fall [stating that], 'Yes, even [if there is] no injury." The Director also said that "if family was notified, it would be documented in the nursing notes (departmental notes). The SSD reviewed the departmental notes to confirm that the POA [for the resident] was not notified about the fall on December 23, 2017, February 7, 2018, and February 18, 2018."
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from All Forms of Abuse Such as Physical, Mental and Sexual Abuse, Physical Punishment and Neglect by Anybody
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 20, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to "prevent abuse for [one resident] reviewed by not taking any actions to investigate the abuse and make any efforts to prevent the abuse from occurring. If the facility is not protecting residents from abuse, and abuse is likely to continue to occur, which could result in an increase of depression and isolation."
The investigators reviewed the December 19, 2017 Face Sheet that showed that the resident has a diagnosis where "the same areas of both sides of the body, featuring weakness, numbness, and burning pain, [along with a] contracture (shortening or hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue)." The Face Sheet also showed the resident has a "mental disorder, joint disarrangement (deformity which interferes with normal joint motion or mobility)," and other medical conditions including the inability to sleep and a "severe brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally."
Failure to protect residents from abuse – NM State Inspector
The state survey team observed the resident on the afternoon of December 19, 2018 "in his room lying in bed." A few minutes later, the surveyors interviewed the facility's van driver who stated, "Yes, I have heard [another resident calling this resident and another resident] names. It does bother him, but he usually will not say anything. I have seen how it upsets him." The investigative team then interviewed a Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) about an hour later who stated, "Yes, I have seen a couple of other residents call him names. He has never said that it hurts them, but after he will go to his room and stay there."
The surveyors interviewed the verbally abused resident about forty minutes later who stated that the verbally abusive resident "called me a (derogatory Spanish-language word for homosexual), vale verga (Spanish for you are a piece of sh**). So, I come into my room." The Social Services Director stated one minute later that the abused resident "came to me one time about a verbal altercation with either [the allegedly abusive resident or another resident]. When he came to me, he told me to get that sh**(other residents that call him names) out of here. I should have documented it in my notes."
The Social Services Director also said "I went back as far as [I have documented evidence] and there was no resident-to-resident abuse documented. Yes, it would be something that should have been documented. When asked why the complaint was not documented, she stated I am not sure that it happened or not. Yes, I should have documented and investigated the incident."
- Failure to Provide Appropriate Pressure Ulcer Care Prevent New Ulcers from Developing In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 20, 2018, the state surveyors noted that the facility had failed to "ensure that residents receive the necessary treatment and services to promote healing of pressure ulcers." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident, The failures included:
"Not identifying the pressure wounds upon admission, therefore delaying treatment.
Not measuring wound weekly.
Not documenting when wound care has been provided.
Not elevating [the resident's] heels while he is in bed.
Not applying a heel protector to his foot to prevent [the resident] from banging it on his wheelchair and floor."
This deficient practice is likely to result in residents' pressure ulcers not healing or getting worse.
- Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 20, 2018, the state survey team documented that the facility had failed to "ensure that residents receive appropriate and safe transfer assistance." The deficient practice at the nursing facility involved two residents. The investigator stated that "if the facility is not providing the appropriate transfer assistance, then residents are at risk for falling and sustaining injury."
The surveyors observed a resident "sitting in her wheelchair in her room" at 1:39 PM on February 17, 2018 while "facing the doorway." Four minutes later a Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) was "observed going into [the resident's] room and closing the door. In an empty room next door, a Hoyer lift (a mechanical device used to lift and transfer a person with minimal effort) is observed." Twelve minutes later at 1:55 PM, a second CNA was observed walking into the resident's "room and then walked out about fifteen seconds later." After the first CNA exited the resident's room, the resident was "observed lying in bed."
The state investigator interviewed the first CNA who stated, "that he used the Hoyer lift to transfer [the resident] to bed, [and] pulled the Hoyer lift through the bathroom door which adjoins [the resident's] room and the empty room, and that the [second CNA] assisted him in using a Hoyer lift." However, when the state investigator interviewed the second Certified Nursing Assistant, it was confirmed that "when she entered [the resident's room, the resident] was already in bed. She confirmed that she did not assist [the first CNA transferring the resident]."
If your family believes that caregivers victimized your loved one while living at Espanola Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, call the New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 today. Our network of attorneys fights aggressively on behalf of Rio Arriba County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Espanola. For years, our attorneys have successfully resolved nursing home abuse cases just like yours. Our experience can ensure a positive outcome in your claim for compensation against those that caused your loved one harm.
Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim. Let us fight for you to ensure your rights are protected.
Our network of attorneys accepts all nursing home abuse lawsuits, personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death suits through a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement will postpone the need to make a payment for our legal services until after our attorneys have resolved your case through a jury trial award or negotiated out of court settlement. We offer every client a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee. This promise ensures that you will owe us nothing if we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf. We can begin representing you in your case today to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your damages. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.