legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
The Methodist Oaks, Orangeburg, South Carolina
Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers are legally and ethically obligated to provide the highest level of care according to the established standards of quality. However, not every nursing facility follows protocols and procedures to prevent accidents, injuries and the development of life-threatening bedsores. If you believe your loved one was victimized through abuse or neglect in a nursing facility, South Carolina Nursing Home Law Center Attorneys can help. Our team of lawyers has successfully resolved many compensation claims for nursing home residents and families in Orangeburg County.The Methodist Oaks
This Nursing Center is a "not for profit" Home providing services to residents of Orangeburg and Orangeburg County, South Carolina. The 122-certified bed Long-Term Care Home is located at:
151 Lovely Drive
Orangeburg, SC 29115
In addition to providing skilled nursing care, the facility also offers assisted living options, memory care, in-home care, long-term nursing care, and rehabilitation services.Financial Penalties and Violations
The federal government has the legal authority to penalize any nursing home that has violated rules and regulations that have harmed or could have harmed a nursing facility resident. These penalties include denial of payment for Medicare services are an imposed a monetary fine. Within the last three years, The Methodist Oaks was fined once by the government nursing home regulatory agency for $13,480 on February 10, 2017. Additional documentation about fines and penalties can be found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Website concerning The Methodist Oaks.Orangeburg South Carolina Nursing Home Residents Safety Concerns
Detailed information on each long-term care facility in the state can be obtained on government-run websites including the South Carolina Department of Public Health and Medicare.gov. These regulatory agencies routinely update their list of dangerous hazards, safety concerns, health violations, incident inquiries, opened investigations, and filed complaints on nursing homes statewide.
According to Medicare, the facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including one out of five stars concerning health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing issues and three out of five stars for quality measures. The Orangeburg County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have viewed numerous violations, deficiencies and safety concerns at The Methodist Oaks that include:
- Failure to Immediately Notify a Resident, the Resident's Doctor or Family Member of a Change in the Resident's Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 10, 2017, a notation was made by a state investigator concerning the nursing home's failure to "notify the physician, family, or [another] qualified professional of a significant weight loss for [a resident]." The state investigator reviewed the Stage I Census record for the facility on February 7, 2017, that revealed the resident "was noted to have a significant weight loss." The record revealed that the resident waived 158.2 pounds on October 19, 2016, 150.8 pounds on October 26, 2016, 153.6 pounds on December 12, 2016, and 146 pounds on December 21, 2016. However, the documentation shows that the resident weighed 153.1 pounds seven days later on December 28, 2016, which dropped to 142 pounds on January 4, 2017."
The state investigator noted that there was no documentation for the months for the resident when they were losing weight at the facility to notify the physician or family member "of the resident significant weight loss." The investigator reviewed the resident's nutritional assessment which "noted the resident consumed 50% the 90% of meals and continues to drink Boost Breeze." The investigator interviewed a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) on the afternoon of February 9, 2017, who "confirmed that there was no documentation on contact with the physician of the resident experienced significant weight loss.
- Failure to Ensure Every Resident Remains Free from Physical Restraints Unless Needed for Medical Treatment
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 10, 2017, a state surveyor documented the nursing home's failure to "provide evidence of the need for physical restraint is required to treat a resident's symptoms regarding the use of side rails." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved a resident who "was observed was side rails in use, but the resident did not have side rail usage comprehensively assessed, ordered or Care Plan."
The state investigator observed the resident on the morning of February 7, 2017, when the "side rails were up and in use for the resident." The investigator then reviewed the resident's physician's orders revealing "that there were no physician's orders on side rails." The resident's Care Plan dated February 8, 2017 "revealed that the resident was not care planned to have side rails in use."
The investigator interviewed a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) that morning who "revealed that the resident was usually set up for two side rails while in bed." A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was interviewed a few minutes later stating that the resident "was usually set up with two side rails while in bed." The LPN also confirmed that "the resident had no orders for use side rails." The investigator reviewed the facility's policy titled: Proper Use of Side Rails that read in part:
"An assessment will be made to determine the resident symptoms or the reason for using side rails."
"The use of side rails as an assistive device will be addressed in the resident care plan."
After review of the facility policy, the investigator interviewed the Infection Preventionist the following day where it was revealed that a "two side rail assessment had been done on October 9, 2016, and January 13, 2017. The side rail assessments were incomplete [as they] did not make any recommendations regarding the use of side rails and had not been signed by a registered nurse. The Infection Preventionist then revealed [they had] begun a new assessment for the use of side rails, contacted the Physician to write an order, and contacted the family to let them know."
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from Abuse, Physical Punishment or Being Separated from Others
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 10, 2017, a state surveyor noted the Nursing Home's failure to "ensure each resident was free from abuse and neglect." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident who "reported an allegation of physical and verbal abuse at the facility [that was] substantiated."
Information provided by the nursing home substantiated that numerous Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) forced the resident "to have a brief exchange and verbally abused the resident." The CNAs held the resident's "hands down. When the resident pulled [their] hands away, they struck [their own] nose, fracturing [their] nasal bones."
The investigator documented that the facility reported allegation "of physical and verbal abuse to the State Agency [concerning the resident occurred on] January 6, 2016." However, "the facility noted the incident happened on December 31, 2015, but was not reported to the facility until January 5, 2016. The facility reported that the resident stated that [they] did not want to go to bed because it was New Year's Eve and [they] wanted to see the ball dropped." The resident also said that they put themselves to bed and was asleep when a Certified Nursing Assistant "came into change [them] and pulled the covers back fast and started changing [their] brief."
The resident stated that the Certified Nursing Assistant hit them "while changing the brief." The resident stated they "cursed at the CNA and exchanged blows." While this was happening, the resident said another Certified Nursing Assistant "stood at the doorway making fun of the situation. The facility reported that [the resident] was alert and oriented and had not wavered from the above statement." Documents at the facility show that during the conversation with a Certified Nursing Assistant, the CNA "was asked if the resident did not want to be changed [and if so] did you go to the nurse or a supervisor to ask for assistance." The Certified Nursing Assistant answered, "No." The CNA agreed that they "mishandled the resident to give [them] care. Even though two members of the nursing team - the MSW (Masters in Social Work) and BSW (Bachelors in Social Work) - interviewed the resident, "there was no documentation in the investigative file for the resident's clinical notes [involving] the content of those interviews."
The investigator interviewed the facility Administrator who stated that the "nurse reported the incident to PACE on-call nurse. The PACE doctor ordered the resident to go to the emergency room [because the resident's] nose was bleeding and swollen." The Administrator said that the Certified Nursing Assistant was "called in and questioned" and stated that they were "trying to give care, the resident hit [the CNA, so they] held the resident's arms, when [the resident] let go and the resident's arm hit [the resident] in the face. The Administrator stated there was no bruising on the resident's arm or on the CNA."
The Administrator stated that he/she "would not expect the CNA to hold the resident down." The facility suspended the CNA but did not terminate their employment. "The CNA was suspended from August 3, 2016, through November 20, 2016, when [they] resigned from [their] position." The Administrator said that "because the Sheriff's Department is still investigating, human resources said to wait until they heard from the Sheriff's Department. The CNA called and said [they] were getting another job. They probably would have terminated [the CNA] for not following procedure."
The investigator showed the Administrator a letter from the Human Resources Manager at The Oaks informing the CNA that they "could return to a 'like' job in the company's Senior Solutions Department. The letter indicated the investigation results were unfounded and the employee was paid for the time they would have been scheduled during the investigation. The Administrator stated that Senior Solutions is their home care services."
- Failure to Write and Enforce Policies That Forbid through Mistreatment, Neglect or Abuse of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 10, 2017, a state investigator noted the deficient practice concerning the nursing home's failure to "ensure that the residents remain free from neglect." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved a resident who "alleges [that] the staff took [their] call light away so that they could not use it and failed to change the resident's brief timely."
The state investigator reviewed the facility report of an allegation "of neglect and of verbal abuse of [a resident] to the State agency on April 6, 2016. The results of the facility's investigation revealed staff was found to provide substandard care, neglect, and verbal abuse." The incident involved a call light being taken away and the resident's brief not being changed properly. The investigator reviewed the facility's investigation file that revealed "only one witness statement, the speech therapists. The only information in the investigative file provided to the surveyor was a copy of the initial 24-hour report […and] the five-day follow-up report, and he mailed to certification, the resident's face sheet, and the statement from the speech therapists.
- Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Policies That Prevent Mistreatment, Neglect or Abuse of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 10, 2017, the state agency surveyor noted the nursing home's failure to "implement written policies and procedures that prohibit and prevent abuse and neglect." The deficient practice involved a resident who reported "an allegation of physical and verbal abuse that the facility substantiated." The investigator stated that the facility violated regulations by not suspending the CNA involved in the alleged abusive incident "until five days after administration was made aware of the allegation of abuse."
Documentation by the facility stated that the resident's "nasal bone fractures were an injury of unknown origin." However, the resident reported "an allegation of abuse and neglect. The facility failed to thoroughly investigate the incident" where it was found that the CNA held the resident's hands down, and when the resident pulled their hands away, they struck himself in the nose and fractured their nasal bones.
If you suspect your loved one has suffered harm through abuse, neglect or mistreatment while a resident at The Methodist Oaks, call the South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 now for legal assistance. Our law firm fights aggressively on behalf of Orangeburg County victims of mistreatment living in long-term centers including nursing homes in Orangeburg. Our team of attorneys has years of experience in successfully resolving financial claims for compensation against all parties who caused nursing home residents harm, injury, loss, or preventable death. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim. Let us fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Our law firm accepts all nursing home abuse lawsuits, personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death suits through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement will postpone payment of our legal services until after our lawyers have resolved your claim through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award. We provide every client a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee, meaning you will owe us nothing if we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf. We can begin working on your case today to ensure your family receives monetary recovery for your damages. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.