Lawyer Resources for Washington

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Attorneys Representing Injured Paramount Rehab and Nursing Center Residents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Washington keep the public informed about the level of care that every nursing facility in the state provides. The government agencies’ efforts involve investigations and surveys performed throughout the year that help identify deficiencies and violations that the Home must correct promptly.

However, some facilities with serious underlying problems require special attention from the government to ensure they maintain the health and well-being of the nursing home’s residents. In these cases, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designate the Center as a Special Focus Facility to alert the Administrator and nursing staff that changes must occur immediately.

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The family of a 97-year-old Washington nursing home patient has received $3.5 million under the terms of a settlement related to a wrongful death lawsuit.  The lawsuit stems from neglectful care at Everett Rehabilitation and Care Center over the course of several months in 2007 when staff at the facility failed to provide medical treatment to a man– whose penis literally deteriorated to the point that his genitalia was nothing more than a wound.

Neglected Nursing Home Patient Wrongful Death SettlementAccording to documents related to an investigation by the Washington Department of Health, the man was originally admitted to the facility in 2004 in order to spend time with his wife who was already a patient at the facility. In November, 2007 a nurse documented a sore on the man’s penis and gave the report to a manager at the facility who failed to take any action or provide any further care.

Further documentation of the man’s decomposing genitalia are absent until March, 2008 when the man was transferred to a hospital and the physicians notified the facility that the man’s penis was completely gone due to deteriorating skin and wounds.  Two weeks after the man was taken to the hospital he died from complications related to his wounds.

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Nursing Home Spotlight: Washington Heights The Southpoint Nursing and Rehab Center is a large 228 bed nursing home located in Chicago, IL. According to the government’s Medicare website, the facility received only one out of five stars, which is a much below average rating.

The facility received only two out of five stars for health inspections, which is a below average rating. In the past year, the nursing home had 17 health deficiencies, which is 9 more than the average number of health deficiencies in Illinois and in the United States. This is down one from the 18 health deficiencies in the previous year.

Nursing homes must meet the Requirements for States and Long Term Care Facilities outlined in 42 CFR Part 483. Pursuant to this statute, the nursing home has an obligation to provide a safe and secure facility for its residents and to provide proper care and supervision to achieve and maintain the highest level of well-being for its residents. According to survey reports the facility received violations for failing to:

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lawyerA wrongful death lawsuit filed was recently filed on behalf of the Estate of Stanley Dancy against Washington Heights Nursing Home.  The lawsuit alleges Mr. Dancy was admitted to the Chicago nursing home for rehabilitation for a recent illness.  Within a month of his admission, Mr. Dancy developed four advanced-stage pressure sores, a urinary tract infection and malnourishment.

The elderly man was sent to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of his medical conditions.  After receiving inpatient hospital treatment, Mr. Dancy was discharged to a different nursing home in the Chicago area.  “Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late to reverse the deterioration of his condition,” said his daughter, Charlotte Parnell.

The Illinois Department of Public Health investigated Washington Heights for two weeks following Mr. Dancy’s death and no violations were found according to a spokeswoman for IDPH.

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Nursing Home For Veterans Shutting DownMore than 30 veterans will be forced to relocate from a Washington VA after an outside review raised concerns about the quality of care and an internal audit validated those concerns.  The Long Term Care Institute was contracted by the VA nationally to review nursing homes around the country.  A surprise inspection at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center on raised immediate concerns about the physical infrastructure of the nursing building. Concerns included sloping floors and patients’ access to doors and stairwells.  The review was also critical of control of medication and the competence of nursing staff inserting intravenous catheter lines.

“We had to do the right thing for patients, and if we can’t provide care that is equal to or better than the private sector, we shouldn’t be doing it. So we had to shut it down,” medical director DeAnn Dietrich said.

Established in 1858 on an 84-acre campus at Fort Walla Walla, the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center serves an estimated 69,000 veterans in southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon and northern Idaho. The center has 66 beds for acute care, nursing, psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. Thirty beds are devoted to nursing.  Inspectors raised concerns about patients’ access to doors and stairwells at the end of long, blind corridors, as well as the aging building’s sloping floors and narrow doors and hallways.

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