Lawyer Resources for Maryland

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Representing Injured Ballenger Creek Center Residents Seeking Monetary Compensation

The state of Maryland and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) make unannounced visits to every nursing home statewide at least twice each year to perform surveys, inspections, and investigations. Their efforts help to quickly identify serious concerns, violations, and deficiencies that could affect the health of one or more residents.

Nursing homes found to have egregious problems are often designated as a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and placed on a national Medicare watch list. The surveyors and investigators typically conduct unannounced inspections or show up unexpectedly to investigate a complaint filed by a resident, employee, family member or visitor.

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Picture-2611Seven cases of Legionnaires’ Disease have been reported at an assisted living facility in Waverly, Maryland.  According to the Baltimore City Health Department, all the people were living at Stadium Place Apartments before they were diagnosed with the disease.  So far, the disease has claimed the life of one of the residents.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires disease is an infectious disease caused by the Legionella bacteria.  There are two types of Legionnaires disease: Legion fever (where people generally develop pneumonia) and Pontiac Fever (symptoms similar to the flu).

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Rarely do nursing homes have isolated problems.  Rather, problems with patient care usually stem from a culture of poor staff training and under-staffing.  Case in point– The Summerville at Potomac nursing facility in Maryland.  Following a routine inspection, state and county nursing home surveyors discovered numerous violations governing patient care in nursing homes.  Among the violations, the surveyors discovered: improperly care for pressure ulcers, mismanaged patients’ medication, lack of fall precautions for patients prone to falling and patients with excessive weight gain and loss.

Maryland Nursing Home FinedAccording to Wendy Kronmiller, director of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Health Care Quality, many of the reported problems can be attributed to a lack of coordination of care.  The survey found that Summerville lacked a delegating nurse to monitor care of each resident. Despite state laws that require a delegating nurse to visit the facility every 45 days, no delegating nurse had visited the facility for months.

In addition to receiving a $10,000 fine and a ban on admission of new patients, the facility was ordered to complete a six-point ‘directed plan of correction’.  The plan includes the following mandates:

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