Lawyers Representing Neglected Residents at The Grove at Irwin
To ensure the health and well-being of all residents at a nursing facility, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Pennsylvania routinely conduct investigations and surveys. If the agencies find severe violations and deficiencies, they can demand immediate corrections be made to protect the residents, visitors, and employees. If the nursing home fails to make adjustments and corrections promptly, they can lose their contract to provide care to Medicaid and Medicare patients or be required to close their doors.
Recently, the Grove at Irwin was designated a Special Focus Facility (SFF). This label means that the facility has been alerted that they are now under a watchful eye of the Federal and PA State government and must make mandatory changes immediately. Also, the facility was fined with monetary penalties because of their recurring underlying problems. The nursing home is given months to make needed adjustments and will undergo unscheduled inspections and ongoing surveys to allow the regulatory agencies to determine if the improvements they have made are permanent. Some of the serious violations are listed below.
The Grove at Irwin
This 120-certify bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating nursing facility provides cares and services to residents of North Huntington and Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The Home is located at:
249 Maus Drive
North Huntington, PA 15642
More than $125,000 in Penalties
Pennsylvania and Federal Government regulatory agencies routinely identifying violations occurring in nursing facilities throughout the state. In some incidences, when the deficiencies and violations are severe, the nursing home might receive monetary penalties or have payments denied by Medicare.
In the last three years, the US Department of Health and Human Services through Medicare has refused to pay the facility for care provided to the residents on two occasions including on August 5, 2016, and January 11, 2017. Also, the Grove at Irwin was fined $127,042 on August 8, 2016.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
Nursing home regulatory agencies routinely update their rating system to reflect the current standing of all nursing homes in the United States. This star rating summary system allows families and individuals to identify the level of care and serious deficiencies occurring at nursing facilities in their community.
Currently, the Grove at Irwin maintains an overall one out of five stars compared to all other nursing homes, assisted living centers, and rehabilitation facilities nationwide. This rating includes one out of five stars for health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing, and two out of five stars for quality measures. Some of the major safety and health concerns involving this facility are listed below.
- Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Policies That Prevent Mistreatment, Neglect or Abuse of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 13, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to implement its Abuse Policy for [one resident] who had an injury of unknown origin.” The facility’s August 2016 policy regarding protection from abuse, “indicated that regardless of how minor the accident or incident was, including injuries of an unknown source, [the incident] must be reported to the department supervisor as soon as [it] is discovered or learned, and then investigated thoroughly.”
A review of a resident’s quarterly MDS (Minimum Data Set) for a resident dated May 20, 2017 “revealed that the resident required extensive assistance with dressing, transferring, hygiene and bathing, and was usually incontinent about a bladder.” The resident’s July 15,017 Skin Assessment “did not indicate any bruising to the resident’s left-hand.”
However, an observation was made of the resident five days later at 4:55 PM on July 10, 2017. The observation “revealed the resident had a large, dark reddish-purple ecchymosis [subcutaneous discoloration from ruptured blood vessels] bruise on her left-hand that extended over the entire width of the hand from the edge of the pinky finger to the edge of the index figure.”
It was also noted that the bruise extended “from her knuckles extending from one-quarter of each finger (approximately 8.0 cm x 2.5 cm).” An interview conducted with the resident at the time “revealed that she did not know how the bruise on her left-hand happened, but it been there for a few days and it hurt at times.”
The surveyor noted that “there was no documented evidence that the bruise on [the resident’s] left hand was identified, reported or investigated” by State and Federal law. The surveyor interviewed the Regional Director of Clinical Services on July 13, 2017. The Director confirmed that “the bruise on [the resident’s] hands was not reported or investigated until July 12, 2017, and was brought to their attention by the surveyor and that the bruise of that size would have been hard to miss.”
- Failure to Maintain a Resident’s Dignity and Respect of Individuality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 13, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility “failed to provide care in a manner that promotes each resident’s dignity.” This deficiency affected one resident at the facility who requires “extensive assistance on staff for her care, including hygiene and toileting, and she was frequently incontinent of bowel and bladder.”
An observation was made of the resident at around noon on August 14, 2017. The observation revealed the resident “was sitting in a wheelchair in her room when a Nurse’s Aide entered the resident’s room and advised her that she was taking her to the main dining room for lunch.” When the Nurse’s Aide “exited the resident’s room with the resident, the resident was noted to have a wet spot on her sweatpants between her legs.”
The Nurse Aide continued to “push the resident down the hallway and into the main dining room, placed the resident at the table, and applied a clothing protector.” At no time did the “Nurse Aide offer the resident assistance to use the toilet prior to taking her to the main dining room.
- Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to Ensure the Prevention of a New Bedsore or Allowing Existing Bedsore to Heal
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 13, 2017, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to provide the necessary treatment services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing.” This deficiency resulted in “deterioration of two pressure ulcers for [one resident].”
- Failure to Ensure Every Resident Remained Free from Accident Hazards
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 13, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility had failed to “ensure the residents’ environment is free from potential accident hazards caused by the use of an air mattress for [one resident].”
This deficiency was identified after reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions for a Joerns Support Surface Derma Float Alternating Pressure and Low Air Loss Mattress System. Documentation shows that the “support services were designed as mattress replacement systems, and the risk of entrapment could occur when equipment was placed on bed frames that have gaps of even a few inches between the mattress and the head panel, foot panel, and side rails. The equipment was not to be used when such gaps were present, and facility staff [or] the user was responsible for ensuring that all mattresses properly fit the bed frames. An optimal bed system assessment should be conducted on each resident by a qualified clinician or medical provider to ensure maximum safety of the resident.”
- Failure to Provide Proper Care for Residents Requiring Special Services
As a part of the surveyor’s July 13, 2017 summary statement of deficiencies, it was noted that the facility had failed to “ensure that oxygen was administered according to physician’s orders.” An observation was made of a resident in their room on July 11, 2017, at 1:53 PM and again at 2:06 PM while “sitting in his room in a wheelchair with a nasal cannula in place and a tubing connected to the oxygen concentrator.”
However, “the oxygen concentrator was not turned on.” The surveyor interviewed the facility’s License Practical Nurse providing the resident care the same day at 2:06 PM who confirmed that the resident’s “oxygen concentrator was not turned on and should have been.” The surveyor documented that the facility had been previously cited for this problem on April 13, 2017, November 25, 2016, November 18, 2016, October 27, 2016, and September 15, 2016.
In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated April 13, 2017, the investigator noted the facility failed “to ensure that the facility provided oxygen therapy at a flow rate as ordered by the physician for [one resident] and failed to ensure the portable oxygen tanks were secured properly.”
An observation was made of a resident on April 12, 2017, at 11:40 AM while being “transferred into her wheelchair.” A nurse providing the resident care “applied oxygen via nasal cannula at a flow rate of 3 L per minute.” Again at 12:40 PM on the same day, an observation was made of the resident that revealed the resident “was in the dining room with oxygen and use at 3 L per minute instead of 2 L per minute as ordered by the physician.” The Licensed Practical Nurse that was providing the resident care stated at that time that the resident’s “oxygen was not being delivered at the flow rate that was ordered by the physician.”
- Failure to Protect The Resident from Negligence Occurring at the Facility
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 31, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to prevent [a fall] from occurring during a transfer for [one resident] which resulted in a fracture for the resident.” This incident involved a resident who requires “extensive assistance of two persons for transfers, and had limited range of motion of her upper and lower extremities.”
The resident’s revised February 7, 2017, Care Plan indicated that the resident “was to be transferred with a Sabine a lift with the assistance of two staff members. The resident’s March 4, 2017, Nursing Notes revealed “that the resident was medicated with Tylenol for complaints of left knee and leg pain. A 2:07 AM, the resident complained of discomfort to the left knee and stated earlier today (March 4, 2017) when being transferred from the chair to the bed with a Sabine a lift, she felt discomfort in the left knee. The resident’s left knee was swollen, warm and tender to the touch.”
The resident’s March 6, 2017, Nursing Note revealed at 11:56 AM that “the resident complained of pain in the left lower extremity, which was very warm, very painful…” The x-ray report dated the same date “revealed that the resident had a non-displaced fracture in-line” to the tibia bone. The facility’s March 8, 2017, Investigation Report revealed that the resident stated to the Nurse Aide transferring her by physically lifting her up and transferring her to the bed “that that is how she hurt her ankle.”
In an interview conducted with the Assistant Director of Nursing on March 30, 2017, revealed that “no one assisted [the Nursing Side] with transferring [the resident]” on the day she was injured.
- Failure to Report and Investigate Any Action Reports of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 31, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility “failed to complete a thorough investigation of incidents to rule out that neglect or abuse were involved in [an incident involving one resident].” The resident’s February 17, 2017, Admission Nursing Assessing Form revealed the resident “was alert and oriented… and the Fall Risk Assessment dated February 18, 2017, revealed the resident was at moderate risk for falling.”
By February 23, 2015, the resident’s Physical Therapy Notes revealed that the resident “complained of pain in the back of the right knee area with movement, [and] the nurse was notified. The resident appeared to have increased tension the right side of the body and swelling to the right hip.” Additional notes concerning the event revealed that “the resident’s daughter reported to the Register Nurse[that] the resident fell in the bathroom two days prior and that the fall was not reported.”
An x-ray of the hip, pelvis, and femur “revealed a distal femur fracture with displacement (not in line). There was no documented evidence that a thorough investigation was completed for the resident’s injury, including interviews with the resident, family and assisting staff”, or that hospital records and x-rays were obtained “to rule out neglect or abuse as a possible cause of the fracture.”
Have You Been Mistreated or Neglected at a Nursing Facility?
Are you the victim of neglect, mistreatment or abuse while you resided in a nursing facility, rehabilitation center or assisted living home? If so, you are likely entitled to file a compensation claim against the nursing facility and medical staff that caused you harm. Consider hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in abuse and neglect cases. With legal representation, you can be assured that all pertinent documentation paperwork is filed a timely manner before the statute of limitations expires.
No upfront payment is necessary because these cases are usually handled through contingency fee arrangements. These agreements mean that you receive immediate representation on all matters associated with your case and your legal services are paid only after the case is financially resolved.
Our attorneys have experience with nursing home negligence cases involving many distinct scenarios. For a free case review of your circumstance, please complete the form here.
For information on Pennsylvania nursing home laws and resources, look here.
If you are looking for lawyers in a particular city or wish to research local facilities, please review the links below.
- Allentown Nursing Home Lawyers
- Erie Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
- Philadelphia Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
- Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
- Reading, PA Nursing Home Lawyer