Attorneys Representing Neglected Meridian Community Living Center Residents
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Mississippi conduct routine scheduled surveys and unannounced investigations to determine the level of care every nursing home in the state provides. Typical surveys reveal 5 to 7 violations on average, even at the best-run nursing facilities.
However, in certain cases, where severe violations have the potential to cause significant harm or have caused harm to a resident, the CMS can designate the Home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF). This undesirable designation alerts the facility that they are ‘on notice’ and are required to make significant changes to their policies, procedures, and programs to ensure the safety and well-being of every resident. In addition to the typical two surveys performed every year, an SFF nursing home must undergo many more surveys and unannounced investigations to determine if the changes they made remain permanent.
Recently, Meridian Community Living Center was designated a Special Focus Facility and is now required to make mandatory changes to correct serious violations. The nursing home will remain on the list for months or years until both the federal and state nursing home regulating agencies can verify how new procedures and protocols are effectively maintaining the health and well-being of the facility’s residents. Some major concerns over resident safety are listed below.
Meridian Community Living Center
This 58-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating nursing facility provides cares and services to the residents of Meridian and Lauderdale County, Mississippi. The facility is located at:
517 33rd St.
Meridian, MS 39305
More than $35,000 in Penalties
The federal government through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the State of Mississippi’s nursing home regulatory agencies can issue fines and penalties for nursing homes that provide substandard care. On January 15, 2017, Meridian Community Living Center received a fine of $35,018.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
To ensure the public remains informed on the level of care that every nursing home the United States provides, CMS and state nursing home regulatory agencies routinely update information on violations and deficiencies. This data is posted on the federal Medicare.gov website.
Currently, Meridian Community Living Center maintains an overall one out of five stars compared to other nursing homes, assisted living centers and rehabilitation facility’s nationwide. This rating includes one out of five stars for health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing, and two out of five stars for quality measures. The most recent safety concerns involving this facility are listed below.
- Failure to Ensure That the Services Provided by the Nursing Facility Meet Professional Standards of Quality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility had failed to “assess and care plan to meet the needs of a newly admitted resident, prior to completion of the first comprehensive assessment and comprehensive Care Plan.” This deficiency was evidenced by the facility’s failure “to clarify and follow [the resident’s] physician’s orders for the care of the resident.”
The state investigator noted that the “facility’s failure to clarify and file the physician’s orders… had the likelihood to result in serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to [the resident] and other newly admitted residents due to the lack of clarity of the resident’s care needs and requirements.”
A notification was sent to the facility by the corporate office on December 6, 2016, stating that the resident would be admitted to the facility on a specific date after hospitalization. The resident had received a “laryngectomy, cricopharyngeal myotomy, and Tracheoesophageal puncture, and pectoralis major myocutaneous flap” on November 26, 2016.
The admittance to the facility had been postponed due to “the resident’s development of pneumonia.” However, “the facility nurse did not receive updated orders from the discharging facility prior to January 10, 2017, admission. The facility used physician’s orders received from December 16, 2016, through December 19, 2016, to care for the patient.”
It was the State Agency that “notified the facility of concerns.” It was decided that Meridian Community Living Center would discharge the resident “to a local hospital… to transfer to another facility with trained personnel skilled in [providing] care of residents with [these medical conditions].” This was after the State Agency “determined the situation [was] an Immediate Jeopardy which began on January 10, 2017. The facility’s administrator was notified of the Immediate Jeopardy [the following day].”
- Failure to Provide Care by Qualified Persons According to Each Resident’s Written Plan of Care
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to follow a resident’s Care Plan for Wound Care as evidenced by a [licensed nursing staff member’s] failure to perform wound care in a manner to promote healing.”
The surveyor conducting the investigation reviewed the resident’s Care Plan that revealed a “focus for a hospital-acquired Stage III pressure area to the left heel, a Stage II pressure area to the right heel. The Care Plan list [instruction] to administer treatments as ordered and monitor for effectiveness.”
However, an observation was made of the resident receiving wound care to the “left heel provided by a Register Nurse on January 12, 2017, at 3:40 PM.” The observation revealed that another Register Nurse “used a blotting type motion to cleanse the heel wound using 4” x 4” gauze with soap and sterile water.” That Registered Nurse “dabbed the gauze on the heel wound in an irregular pattern, touching the surrounding skin, and then the wound itself. Without changing gloves, [this Registered Nurse] used a dry 4” x 4” gauze to pat the wound dry using a dabbing type motion in an out of the heel wound.”
It was observed that the nurse’s “stainless steel scissors fell to the floor between wound care observations.” When the wound care to the right heel was completed, the Registered Nurse “reached down and picked up the scissors from the floor with her gloved hand and then proceeded to apply the clean dressing.” The Registered Nurse “used the contaminated scissors to cut the gauze she placed around [the resident’s] heel to secure the dressing.”
The state investigator notified the facility that they had failed to follow their undated policy titled: Goals and Objectives that revealed:
“This facility that care plans incorporate goals and objectives which lead to the resident’s highest obtainable level of independence as determined by interdisciplinary team and in accordance with the resident’s personal decisions and cultural preferences.”
- Failure to Ensure Every Resident Receives Proper Treatment to Prevent the Development of Bedsores or Allow Existing Bedsores to Heal
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2017, the state investigator reviewed policies and facility records and conducted staff interviews and observations. It was then that the investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure licensed nursing staff performs wound care in a manner to promote healing.” The facility was reminded to follow their August 25, 2014; Policy titled: Dressing, Dry/Clean that revealed in part that “hands are to be washed after removing soil dressings, and after applying new dressings.”
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Entering the Nursing Facility without a Catheter Is Not Given a Catheter
As a part of the survey conducted on January 15, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility “failed to ensure staff cleansed the perineal area in a manner to prevent the potential infection for [a resident] observed for incontinent care.” The surveyor reviewed the facility’s August 25, 2014, policy titled: Perineal Care that reads in part that:
“the perineal area is wiped from front to back during perineal cleansing. Clean, rinse (as applicable), and dry buttocks and perineal area without contaminating the perineal area.”
The surveyor observed a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) providing perineal care for a resident on the late morning of January 12, 2017. The Certified Nursing Assistant rolled the resident “over on her right side to cleanse the buttocks, and rear perineal area [while using] a soapy washcloth, and wiped from the rectal area toward the vaginal area.”
Due to the observation of substandard care, the surveyor interviewed the Certified Nursing Assistant who acknowledged “wiping from back to front during [the resident’s] perineal care. When asked what could happen when the resident’s perineal area is wiped/cleanse back to front, the CNA stated that “germs could get into the vaginal area and cause infection.” The facility’s Director of Nursing also validated that the staff “is to wipe from the front to the back during perineal care per facility policy in order to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria from the anal area into the vaginal area.”
- Failure to Provide Every Resident Environment Free of Accident Hazards
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure a safe environment by failure to ensure resident care equipment was not plugged into power strips.” The surveyor observed a resident’s room at approximately noon on January 12, 2017, and again at 5:55 PM on January 14, 2017, that revealed that “a power strip was plugged in the wall outlet between [two residents’] beds.”
During the observation, it was noted that one resident’s “oxygen concentrator and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine were plugged into the power strip.” At the same time, the other resident’s “feeding to pump was plugged in the same power strip that was plugged into the wall.”
The surveyor interviewed the Maintenance Director during the observational tour who stated on January 14, 2017, that “the above residents’ equipment was plugged into power strips. He said the resident equipment should be plugged into the red wall plugs. He added that sometimes the nursing staff plugs the equipment into the power strips while moving the beds around, but they should not be doing that. He said the circuits could overload if the resident’s equipment is plugged into power strips.”
- Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Programs That Investigate, Control and Keep Infections from Spreading
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2017, the investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure shared resident equipment was sanitized with an approved disinfecting agent between residents, and scissors were sanitized prior to providing wound care for [three residents at the facility].”
The State surveyor reviewed the facility’s May 16, 2016, policy titled: Glucometer Cleaning Guidelines that revealed that “glucometers are to be cleaned with the facility approved disinfecting wipes following use on each resident.”
An observation was made of a Registered Nurse at 4:28 PM on January 11, 2017 “using that Even Care Glucose Meter.” The Registered Nurse stated that “the glucometer she was using on [the resident] was a shared glucometer. After obtaining the blood sugar, [the Registered Nurse] returned to the hallway and placed the glucometer on top of the med cart. She then wiped the glucometer with 70% alcohol prep pad and allowed it to dry on top of the med cart [before taking] the same glucometer and obtain the fingerstick blood sugar on [another resident thirteen minutes later].”
A phone interview was conducted with the Register Nurse who was asked “about the facility’s policies on cleaning and disinfecting glucometers.” The Registered Nurse replied that “she had never reviewed the facility’s policies and procedures on glucometer cleaning, and said she was not aware alcohol was not an approved disinfecting agent.”
The surveyor interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing on January 15, 2017, who said that “glucometer shared among residents in the facility should be cleaned using bacterial wipes [and] explained this was important …to kill bacteria, spores, and viruses.”
- Failure to Ensure Food Was Stored, Cooked and Served in a Clean and Safeway
The notation of failure was made after a review of resident’s records, staff interviews, resident interviews, observations and in-service review of the facility. The surveyor noted a failure to “maintain food preparation storage in a sanitary manner, and failed to label and date stored food items for [this kitchen tour].” This “deficient practice had the potential to affect all residents receiving facility meals.”
Are You or a Loved One the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect at a Mississippi Nursing Home?
If you have been neglected, abused, mistreated while residing in any nursing facility, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation for your damages. However, abuse and neglect cases can be complex require the skills of a competent personal injury attorney specializes in these types of cases.
Typically, these cases are handled through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement states that you are not required to make an upfront payment because all legal services are paid only after your attorney has successfully resolved your case with a successful jury trial or a through a negotiated out of court settlement.
Begin your legal process and contact our office today to learn about how we can help you.
For information on the valuation of nursing home abuse cases, look here.