Attorneys Representing Injured Braemoor Health Center Residents
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Massachusetts state nursing home regulatory agencies routinely investigate and inspect nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and assisted living centers throughout the state. If inspectors find any serious violation that harmed or could have harmed a resident, the agencies can issue a financial penalty and force the Home to make immediate changes that ensure the resident safety.
Recently, results of numerous inspections and surveys at Braemoor Health Center caused the CMS to take appropriate measures in designating the facility as an SFF (Special Focus Facility). This federal watchlist places the future of the facility under threat of being closed or losing their contract provide services to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Braemoor Health Center will need to make changes immediately and permanently to correct problems that have been identified as serious violations by CMS. In the months and years ahead, investigators will schedule many surveys and make unannounced inspections to evaluate the improvements made at the facility.
Below, our attorneys have listed some of the most serious grievances and concerns involving the nursing home that occurred in recent months.
Braemoor Health Center
The facility provides nursing and rehabilitative cares and services to the residents of Brockton and Plymouth County Massachusetts. The Home is located at:
34 N. Pearl St.
Brockton, MA 02301
In addition to providing skilled nursing services, the facility also provides long-term care, recharge rehabilitation, hospice care, relieve respite care and physician services that include:
- Pain management
- Oxygen therapy
- Bariatric care
- Occupational, speech and physical therapies
- Prosthetic care
- Post-surgical care
- Care transition services
- Wound VAC care
- Tracheostomy care
- Surgical drain management Indwelling catheters
- Palliative care
- PEG tube and G tube care
- Diabetes management
- Colostomy/ileostomy/urostomy care
- Spinal injury care
- PICC line and management
- Central line management
- CPAP care
- IV antibiotics
- Stroke care
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
Once serious violations have been identified by Massachusetts nursing home regulatory agencies and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the information is updated and posted on the Medicare.gov website. Families needing to place a loved one in a nursing facility will use this data to determine the best location that provides the highest level of care.
Unfortunately, Braemoor Health Center was added to the Special Focus Facility (SFF) list due to numerous safety and health concerns. Currently, the facility maintains an overall to out of five stars for health inspections compared to all other nursing homes, assisted living centers and rehabilitation facilities nationwide. This ranking of the federal star rating summary system includes one out of five stars for health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing, and five out of five stars for quality measures.
Some of the safety and health concerns are listed below.
- Failure to Provide an Environment Free of Coercion and Reprisal
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 25, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure that a resident has the right to exercise his/her right to make choices about smoking during non-designated smoking times.” The surveyor also noted that the facility “failed to ensure that the resident had a choice to smoke independently based on a safe Smoking Assessment and not restrict smoking as a punishment.” The facility “failed to document the meeting (mediation) and failed to follow up with [the resident] to ensure that the resident understood the plan.”
The state investigator interviewed the resident at 4:30 PM on May 24, 2017, who stated that they “had a few concerns including food and wanting to access to the computer, but [their] biggest problem was at the facility limited [their] smoking times. The resident said that due to an altercation with another resident [they were] being punished and could only go out with the supervise smokers at designated times.” The resident stated that “prior to this, the resident was assessed by the facility identified as an independent smoker and could go out to the smoking area any time [they] wanted.”
However, after the altercation, both residents involved in the altercation “could no longer go out smoke independently but had to only go out at the designated smoking times of 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM, and 6:30 PM. The resident also said that [they like] to sit outside in the sun and now has to be supervised at all times.”
- Failure to Determine If It Is Safer a Resident to Self-Administered Medications
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 25, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to determine for [a resident] that the resident could safely to properly self-administered nasal spray and disability be reflected in the plan of care.” It was documented that the facility “failed to assess the resident’s ability self-administered nasal spray and the plan of care provided no information of the resident’s ability to administer the medication.”
Also, “the medical record had no assessment or documentation to review that the facility had determined the resident’s ability to administer their net is a medication.” An interview with the facility a process Director Nurses 11:30 AM on May 20, 2017 revealed after the resident’s medical record information was reviewed, that they “could not locate a completed self-administration assessment and agreed that one should have been performed.”
- Failure to Listen to the Resident or Family Groups or Act on Their Complaints or Suggestions
The state investigator reviewed the facility’s Resident Counsel minutes and interviews with the residents and staff members and documented the results in the May 25, 2017, survey. The surveyor noted that the facility “failed to properly respond to grievances identified by the Resident Counsel Meeting and ensure that there was a system in place to inform the residents of resolutions to all concerned.” During the group meeting, the residents were “asked a series of questions about their life the quality of care in the facility. The residents were also asked about the Resident Council Group and the facility’s response to concerns identified by the Resident Council.”
In response, the resident said that “the Activities Director assisted at the meetings and records are concerned, shared upcoming events, inform them of their rights. However, the resident’s said that even though this process was done monthly, nothing changed.” Some of the concerns that were noted included “a lack of facility response, cell phone used by the staff (texting), late delivery of trays on the unit resulting in cold food, not enough variety of foods, staff speaking other languages, not answering call built properly, and requesting activities for younger residents.”
It was documented that even though “the resident said they bring these repeated complaints of the Resident Council Meeting, no one gets back to them with the solution and the problems continue.”
- Failure to Ensure Services Provided by the Nursing Facility Meet Professional Standards of Quality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 25, 2017, state investigator made a notation of the facility’s failure “to ensure medications for [three residents] were administered in accordance to the extent the professional standards of quality.” As a part of the investigation, the State surveyor reviewed the Standards of practice reference: Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 112 that reads in part:
“Individuals are given the designation of Register Nurse and Practical Nurse which includes the responsibility to provide nursing care.”
“Both the Registered Nurse (RN) and practical nurse bear full responsibility for systematically assessing health status and recording the related health data. They also stipulate that both the Registered Nurse (RN) and practical nurse incorporate into the plan of care, and implement prescribed medical regiments.”
In conducting the survey, it was revealed that “there was no documented evidence that the resident received [their medication] for 42 of 66 opportunities before meals, as ordered by the physician.” It was also revealed that there was “no documented evidence that the resident received [their medication] coverage 3 of 22 opportunities at bedtime” between May 1, 2017, and May 22, 2017.
- Failure to Provide Proper Care to Residents Requiring Special Services
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 20, 2017, the investigator noted the facility’s failure “to follow their policy for a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) dressing change for [one resident].”
The surveyor conducting the investigations observed the resident in their room with “a left-sided PICC line and intact dressing. The surveyor could not identify a date for the last dressing change. The surveyor asked the resident if [their] dressing have been changed at the facility. The resident said no and that it was a new PICC for antibiotic administration. The resident said that the only dressing was done to the hospital right after the PICC was inserted on May 19, 2017.”
Per surveyor reviewed the facility’s policy manual: an infusion therapy nursing manual on May 24, 2017, that indicated “that transparent semi-permeable membrane dressings are to be changed 24 hours after surgery and every seven days and as needed.”
- Failure to Provide Every Resident Environment Free of Accident Hazards
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 19, 2016, the State surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to ensure that alarms on the exterior doors on the basement level were engaged in functioning appropriately. At approximate 5:45 AM on December 19, 2016, [two surveyors] observed that [all nine] basement level exterior doors leading to the outside, alarms were not engaged and functioned properly and five of nine basement level exterior doors leading to the outside were unlocked. The lack of functioning exit door alarms and unlocked exit doors would allow unauthorized entry and/or exit from the facility without staff knowledge.”
The surveyor reviewed the facility’s May 1, 2016, policy titled Building Security that reads in part:
“It is the responsibility of all employees to observe the proper functioning of door alarms and report malfunction immediately so that prompt correction can occur.”
The facility’s policy “indicated it is the responsibility of the maintenance department to conduct ongoing security checks throughout each day and checked basement level exits to be sure they are locked.” The two surveyors “toured the facility on the morning of December 19, 2016, between 5:30 AM and 6:10 AM. On the basement level, the patio exit door on the south wing side of the building was unlocked from the outside; alarms were not engaged and did not sound when operated.” It was also reported that “on the basement level, the activity room exit door, alarms were not engaged and did not sound when opened.”
During an interview with the facility’s Administrator, it was revealed that “he was unaware that the basement level exit doors were unlocked and that the alarms were not engaged or sound when opened.” The administrator also revealed that “maintenance is responsible for ensuring the basement level exit doors are locked, and nursing should check the alarm annunciator panel an insured to set in the on position.”
- Failure to Ensure That Residents Receive Timely Doctor Visits as Required
As a part of the December 19, 2016, survey, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure to “ensure that a resident was seen by a physician every 60 days following the first 90 days after [their] admission.” As a part of the findings, it was revealed that the resident “was admitted in March 2016… and discharged on May 11, 2016.” The facility’s Medical Records Manager “separate clinical records for [the resident] provided to the surveyor should be complete since [the resident] had been discharged.” However, “there was no documented evidence of a progress note completed by a physician, a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist between May 11, 2016, and the resident’s discharge from the facility hundred seven days later.”
Was Your Family Member Injured Neglected or Abused at a Mass Nursing Facility?
It is the right of every resident to receive the highest level of health, hygiene, and assistive care every moment of the day when living in a nursing facility, assisted living home, and rehabilitation center. If you were injured by the neglectful actions of another, you legally have the right to seek financial compensation from all those who caused your damages. However, these cases are complicated and often require the skills of a nursing home negligence attorney specializes in neglect and abuse cases.
These claims for compensation are usually handled through contingency fee arrangements, meaning that no upfront fees are necessary. The law firm will be paid for their legal services only after the case has been successfully resolved at a concluded jury trial or from a negotiated out of court settlement.
Read more about the laws and regulations applicable to Massachusetts nursing homes here.