Injured Oak Hill Health and Rehab Center Residents Seek Compensation for Damages
To ensure the public remains fully informed on the level of care every nursing home provides, both the State of Rhode Island and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine surveys and inspections. These inspections help identify serious problems, health hazards, violations, and deficiencies. In most cases, the nursing facility is given the opportunity to make prompt corrections to the level of care they provide, and adjustments of the policies and procedures used as guidelines for the nursing staff.
Some nursing facilities cannot or will not make these necessary improvements. When this occurs, the Home can face serious consequences including monetary penalties, a demand of selling their business to another company in good standing and be added to the federal watch list. Even if the facility becomes compliant with federal and state nursing home regulations, they often remain on the watch list for years as surveyors and inspectors evaluate the permanency of their corrections.
In 2017, Medicare and Medicaid surveyors designated Oak Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and added the Home to the Medicare watch list. This determination was based on substandard care. Some of the most serious concerns, violations, and deficiencies identified by surveyors at this facility are listed below.
Oak Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center
This Nursing Center is a “for-profit” Facility providing services and cares to residents of Pawtucket and Providence County, Rhode Island. The 129-certified bed Center is located at:
544 Pleasant St.
Pawtucket, RI 02860
In addition to providing short-and long-term skilled nursing care, the facility also offers rehabilitation programs, post-acute services, respite care, and restorative care.
Nearly $30,000 in Monetary Penalties
Nursing home regulators working for the state and the federal governments have the power to issue monetary penalties to enforce compliance at nursing facilities identified as having serious deficiencies and violations. On July 16, 2015, Oak Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center received a fine of $29,381. Also, on the same date, Medicare denied a request for payment for services rendered due to substandard care.
Over the three years, there have been seven formally filed complaints against the facility that resulted in a citation. There was one facility-reported issue at the same time that resulted in a citation.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the state of Rhode Island routinely update the Medicare.gov website to reflect current information identified in every nursing facility statewide. These updates include details on opened investigations, incident inquiries, dangerous hazards, health violations, filed complaints, and safety concerns. Additionally, the site provides a star rating summary system to be used to compare different facilities throughout the United States quickly.
Currently, Oak Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center maintains a much below average one out of five stars compared all other facilities nationwide. This ranking includes one out of five stars for health inspections, five out of five stars for staffing, and one out of five stars for quality measures. The facility’s required by law to post the most current survey results on every floor of the nursing home with easy access to residents, family members, visitors, employees, and others. Some serious violations, safety hazards, and deficiencies concerning this nursing home are listed below.
- Failure to Provide Cares and Services That Meet Professional Standards of Quality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 30, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “provide services which meet professional standards of quality… relative to clarifying physician’s orders…”
The investigator reviewed physician’s orders for two different residents and stated that both orders “do not include parameter stating the conditions under which each medication should be administered, leaving it unclear as to which to administer when the resident is experiencing pain.”
Concerning another resident, the surveyor reviewed their physician’s orders and noted the documented transcribed orders “do not include directions indicating which to administer when the resident is experiencing secretions.”
The surveyor reviewed a fourth resident’s physician’s orders where one stated: “order dated March 22, 2017, for [their medication] give 5 mg as needed for pain – [on a] scale of one through five.” The other order dated the previous day of March 21, 2017, for the same medication states “give 7.5 mg as needed for moderate to severe pain.” The investigator claims that “these orders utilize different pain scales.” Digging further into the deficiency, the investigator noted that the facility’s policy uses two different scales that “overlap which makes it unclear which guilty utilize when administering pain.”
The Director of Nursing was interviewed on June 30, 2017, who stated that “she could not provide evidence that the facility had consulted with the physician to clarify the above orders.” The facility was reminded of the Basic Nursing, Mosby, Third ed. that reads “the Registered Nurse (RN) checks all transcribed orders against the original order for accuracy and thoroughness. If an order seems incorrect or inappropriate, the nurse consults the physician.”
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident’s Medication Regimen Is Free from Unnecessary Drugs
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 30, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “ensure that a resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs.”
The surveyor observed the resident “on all days of the survey …wearing oxygen via nasal cannula. Surveyor observation during an initial tour on June 27, 2017, 6:40 PM revealed [the resident] was receiving oxygen at 4 L via nasal cannula.” An additional observation was made the next day at 8:20 AM and 12:45 PM that revealed the resident “was receiving four liters (L) of oxygen via nasal cannula.”
The surveyor reviewed the resident’s Oxygen Saturation Summary that revealed “that the resident had been receiving oxygen daily” between June 26, 2017, and June 30, 2017. However, there was “no documentation indicating the resident was [experiencing a] shortness of breath.” The surveyor interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing at 1:00 PM on June 29, 2017, who stated that “she was unable to explain what the resident was receiving four leaders of oxygen instead of two leaders. She was unable to explain why the resident had been receiving oxygen with no indication for use.”
- Failure to Allow Easy Access to Residents and Family Members of the Nursing Home’s Most Recent Survey
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 30, 2017, was determined that the facility had “failed to make the results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by Federal or State Surveyors available for examination in a place readily available [on every floor].”
The surveyor observed the first floor during a tour on June 28, 2017, at 12:30 PM that “failed to reveal evidence of the most recent survey resulted posted at in a public area.” The Director of Maintenance was interviewed at that time and said that “he could not locate a posted Notice of Availability and indicated that the survey results were stored behind the reception desk (where residents do not have free access).”
Further observation by the surveyor “of the second and third floor revealed that survey results were readily available. However, the results available were not from the most recent survey.” The surveyor interviewed the facility’s Administrator on June 30, 2017, stated that “she could not provide evidence of survey results being readily available to residents on the first floor or that a notice of their availability was posted. She further acknowledged that the survey results on the second and third floor were not of the most recent survey.”
Want to File a Rhode Island Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Compensation Claim?
Are you interested in filing a compensation claim against Oak Hill Health and Rehab Center, or any other the nursing home that caused your harm through abuse and neglect? If so, hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in Rhode Island nursing home abuse and neglect cases might be your wisest decision to resolve your case successfully. As your legal representative, your lawyer can file all the necessary documents in the right courthouse and build a case for compensation to ensure your family recovers damages including medical expenses, time away from work, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and anxiety.
These cases are typically handled through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement means that you have access to immediate advice and counsel. Your lawyer will gather evidence, build your case, and present evidence in front of a jury to obtain a lawsuit award or use the evidence for the negotiation process to obtain an out of court settlement.
Learn more about the laws and regulations applicable to Rhode Island nursing homes here.