New Mexico Nursing Home Inspection Findings & Violations
According to Medicare.gov, there are 74 New Mexico nursing homes statewide. While 46 (62%) of these facilities rank average or above on the level of care they provide, the remaining 26 (30%) have below average and much below average ratings. This substandard level of care falls below the acceptable rating allowed by Medicaid and Medicare.
Intentional physical abuse, medication errors, facility acquired bedsores, and bone fractures are just some of the horrific events that occur at nursing homes statewide. While federal and state laws are enacted to prevent many forms of abuse and neglect, mistreatment still happens at an alarming frequency.
Many families are unaware that their loved one has been injured or the victim of mistreatment until it is too late. Below, our attorneys have assembled some of the most common forms of mistreatment where investigators have cited the nursing facility for their failure to follow protocols, regulations, and procedures. Families use this information to determine if they can take legal action against the nursing home operators and medical staff when their loved one is victimized.Failure to Protect Residents from All Forms of Abuse
Many victims of physical abuse are injured at the hands of caregivers or by resident-to-resident assault. These incidents are often the result of poorly trained, improperly hired, or inadequately supervised nursing staff that often use physical force as a tool to punish or control the patient. New Mexico investigators have cited numerous nursing facilities statewide involving severe violations that include:
- The staff did not protect a resident from staff-to-resident sexual abuse (Princeton Place)
- The nursing home did not ensure that residents remained free from mental abuse and involuntary seclusion (Silver City Care Center)
- Residents were not allowed to voice a complaint without reprisal (Sunshine Haven at Lordsburg)
- The nursing staff and administration did not keep residents free from neglect caused by a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who was rough when providing care (Sunshine Haven at Lordsburg)
- A resident did not remain free from neglect when complaining of nausea, becoming unresponsive and later passing away (The Suites Rio Vista)
- A resident was not protected from unauthorized physical restraint (Bloomfield Nursing and Rehab Center)
- A resident was the victim of abuse because the facility did not act to investigate the incident to prevent further abuse (Espinola Valley Nursing and Rehab Center)
- Residents were not protected from physical and verbal abuse involving a nursing staff member (Landsun Homes Nursing Center)
Serious accident hazards are a constant problem at many nursing facilities when the staff and other employees fail to secure hazardous chemicals, maintain safety equipment, or follow care plans that prevent incidents from occurring. New Mexico investigators have imposed monetary fines against some nursing facilities due to their failure to protect the residents from hazards including:
- The nursing home did not ensure the resident identified as a high risk for falling was provided appropriate supervision (Red Rocks Care Center)
- The maintenance department did not secure grab bars in the facility’s hallways (Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center)
- Maintenance personnel did not maintain safe water temperatures that were measured extremely high up to 135° (Landsun Home Nursing Center)
Every act or allegation of abuse, mistreatment or neglect must be reported to the appropriate agencies and the facility Administrator following the law. If the nursing home fails to investigate the incident or file a report, state investigators can impose a monetary fine and cite the facility for their violation. Some of these include:
- The nursing home did not ensure that a reportable incident of abuse was reported to the State agency involving an incident of a fall while being transferred (Northgate Unit of Lakeview Christian Home)
- The investigation results were not reported to the State survey agency timely involving resident-to-resident abuse (Red Rocks Care Center)
- An allegation of abuse was not thoroughly investigated, and the results were not reported to the State Agency according to the law (Taos Retirement Village)
When the nursing staff fails to follow established protocols in protecting patients from infection, one or more residents can acquire a preventable contagious disease that could compromise their health and well-being. The investigators cited numerous nursing facilities for violating infection protection protocols including:
- The nursing home did not ensure proper infection control practices were followed concerning hand hygiene during insulin administration (Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center)
Other notable safety concerns at many nursing facilities throughout New Mexico include the failure to immediately notify a resident’s doctor or family member if there is a significant decline in the resident’s condition. Not providing immediate notification could compromise the resident’s health if they do not receive the proper treatment timely.
Also, many nursing facility residents receive unnecessary medications as a part of their daily drug regimen because the facility failed to follow protocols in obtaining legal orders to use antipsychotic and antianxiety medications.