legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Michigan Nursing Home Ratings & Safety Violation Information
According to Medicare.gov, there are 442 Michigan nursing homes statewide. While 324 (73%) of these nursing homes rank average or above on the level of health care and assistance they provide, the remaining 112 (27%) have below average and much below average ratings. This substandard level of care falls below the acceptable rating that both Medicare and Medicaid allow.
Michigan and federal laws impose specific standards and guidelines for the operation, maintenance, and accommodation of nursing facility statewide. Every nursing home must provide each resident with adequate space where they can receive their health services and hygiene assistance. The services must be performed in quiet rest areas, during special therapeutic sessions, and activities of daily living.
Unfortunately, not every nursing facility provides the highest level of care. In some situations, there are inadequate numbers of dining room tables or a lack of slip-resistant surfaces on floors throughout the facility, in the resident’s room and bathrooms. Any deficiency in maintenance could cause serious situations if there is dangerous equipment, a lack of heating/cooling, or a failing building structure.
The federal government and the state of Michigan use investigators, surveyors, and inspectors to identify a failure to protect a resident’s rights and quality of life. These government agencies investigate and resolve identified or submitted complaints about concerns of treatment and services. These inspectors follow nursing home investigation processes to identify serious issues that could result in citations when violations are recognized.
Below is just a small sample of the thousands of identified violations occurring in hundreds of Michigan nursing homes statewide. Families use this information to determine better what is going on in the facility where their loved one resides.
Failure to Protect Residents from All Forms of Abuse and Mistreatment
Every nursing home has a legal obligation to protect residents from all forms of mistreatment, abuse or neglect. Serious concerns involving abuse were identified by investigators that include:
- Failure to implement Abuse Prevention policies that place residents at risk for abuse and neglect (Advantage Living Center – Wayne, Heartland Health Care Center – Livonia, Laurels of Kent Nursing Center)
Failure to Protect Residents from Accident HazardsAny resident exposed to a hazardous situation could be injured or killed. Because of that, nursing homes are required to follow established protocols
to provide a safe environment free from exposure to chemicals, hot devices, slippery surfaces, and other conditions that could cause harm. Serious concerns identified in citations by investigators following up on Michigan nursing home complaints involve:
- A resident experiencing blistering burns when he spilled hot liquid in his lap (Grace Health Care of Three Rivers)
- The nursing home never provided adequate supervision during transfers to eliminate the potential of falls, severe injury, and harm (Advantage Living Center – Wayne, Fairview Nursing and Rehab Community)
- The staff did not follow protocols or conduct a thorough investigation involving a fall and did not follow up with interventions to prevent future falls (Hallmark Living Benton Harbor, Hallmark Living Kalamazoo)
Failure to Report and Investigate Any Act or Reports of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment
The nursing facility must investigate and report any allegation or act of abuse, mistreatment or neglect. Serious concerns in Michigan nursing facilities include:
- Failure to report allegations of a Social Worker verbally abusing a resident (Advantage Living Center - Battle Creek)
- Failure to immediately report an allegation of resident-to-resident physical abuse (Grace Health Care of Three Rivers)
Failure to Implement and Follow Infection Protection Protocols
If the nursing staff fails to follow infection protection protocols, every resident can be at risk for acquiring a dangerous, contagious infection. Serious concerns involving Michigan nursing homes placing residents at risk include:
- Failure to conduct ongoing infection protection and control to prevent the spread of infection (Advantage Living Center – Battle Creek, Grace Health Care of Three Rivers)
- Failure to develop a plan to eliminate the risk of Legionella and other Opportunistic Pathogens of Premises Plumbing waterborne pathogens (Hallmark Living Benton Harbor)
- Not following consistent intradepartmental surveillance on contractors and vendors to eliminate the spread of infection (Heritage Manor Nursing and Rehab Center)
Failure to Ensure Residents Receive Proper Treatment to Prevent Bedsores
The nursing home must follow protocols to prevent facility-acquired bedsores. Serious concerns include:
- Failure to ensure pressure ulcer treatments are applied according to physician’s orders to avoid worsening of the wound (Advantage Living Center – Wayne, Fairview Nursing and Rehab Community, Hallmark Living Benton Harbor, Hope Health Care Center)
Failure to Keep Residents Free from Physical Restraints
The nursing home can only use physical and chemical restraints if the physician has approved the devices according to state and federal regulations. Any use of restraints for convenience or control is unlawful. Serious concerns include:
- Not implementing a restraint intervention to promote restraint reduction or elimination without obtaining informed consent (Advantage Living Center – Battle Creek)
- Not providing periodic release of a restraint resulting in not maintaining highest practicable well-being (Heartland Health Care Center – Livonia)
- Not identifying the medical need for physical restraints without obtaining informed consent (Hope Health Care Center)
- Failure to follow the facility’s restraint policy that resulted in a loss of freedom of movement (Laurels of Coldwater)
Other Safety Concerns
The state investigators have other major safety concerns including the nursing home’s failure to implement an antibiotic monitoring program, and a failure to treat every resident with respect and dignity.
Many nursing facilities receive citations for violations and their failure to establish an antibiotic stewardship program to prevent antibiotic resistance, and a failure to ensure that every resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary medications.