40 Violations In A Year, Yet Nursing Home Disputes Safety Concerns & Fights To Remain Open

A legal battle is heating up in Oklahoma that will likely impact the way the government handles funding penalties in the future with nursing homes across the country.  The heart of the battle involves a small Tulsa nursing home with extensive patient-safety violations over the past year.  The violations were deemed so severe that officials took that rather drastic step of terminating Medicare and Medicaid payments to the facility.

40 Nursing Home Violations In A YearRather than disputing the alleged violations themselves, the nursing home asserts that the government acted improperly in applying care standards during its inspections.  As a result of the improper standards, the government is alleged to have overstepped their authority in stripping the facility of government funding.  Hence, the facility should continue to receive governmental payments for the care (or lack thereof) it provides patients.

In an unusual act, Woodland View Care and Rehabilitation Center and its parent company Sun Healthcare Group Inc. initiated their legal fight by suing multiple government agents from state and local agencies in an attempt to block efforts to cut off funding.

Multiple inspections confirmed widespread problems at the Woodland View facility, which cares for approximately 70 disabled and elderly patients.  Amongst the findings from nursing home inspections include the facilities failure to:

  • Protect residents from abuse
  • Provide pain medications as ordered by physicians
  • Treat wounds such as bed sores (also referred to as: decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, pressure sores)
  • Provide adequate staffing levels to protect patients from accidents at the facility

The matter is currently pending in the 10th Circuit after a lower court ruled that the nursing home failed to follow proper administrative procedure under the Medicare Act and dismissing the original claim.

The real issue in this legal mess

While such termination of government funding would effective run most nursing homes quickly out of business, Woodland View certainly has the wherewithal to continue its operation as Sun Healthcare remains one of the larger operators of nursing homes in the country with more than 200 facilities and $2 billion in annual revenue.

A closer review of Oklahoma law may provide a little insight as to why this nursing home is putting forth such a vigorous fight in this matter.  Like some other states, Oklahoma prohibits nursing home operators from opening additional facilities within the state after a facility has lost its federal funding.  Sun Healthcare would thereby be prohibited from expanding its presence in Oklahoma beyond the six facilities it currently operates.

Oh, by the way, while the court sorts out this legal mess Woodland View continues to receive your tax dollars— $3.7 million to be exact– per the court’s order to continue funding while the matter is heard.


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One response to “40 Violations In A Year, Yet Nursing Home Disputes Safety Concerns & Fights To Remain Open”

  1. Sun Healthcare has a long history of operating like thugs out of the East Coast mob days. Oh maybe because the CEO is from the east coast and acts like a thug?
    My experience is they are corrupt and commit criminal acts to get ahead: http://www.sunhealthcaregroupinc.blogspot.com
    I’ve asked the Orange County DA and Grand Jury to indict Ricahrd K. Matros for his crimes against me.
    Deb Calvert, Newport Beach, California

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric