Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center (SFF) Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

Sava Senior CareThe state of Georgia and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine surveys and investigations of every nursing home statewide. These unscheduled and unannounced inspections help to identify serious deficiencies, dangerous violations and safety concerns that must be dealt with immediately. Typically, the nursing facilities are provided the opportunity to make significant changes to their policies and procedures and re-educate their staff to safeguard every resident’s health and well-being.

Sometimes, the nursing facility cannot make substantial improvements. When this occurs, federal and state nursing home regulators will designate the facility as a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and add the Home on the national Medicare watch list. The facility is given a certain amount of time to make the necessary corrections, or they could lose the opportunity to provide care and assistance to Medicare and Medicaid-funded patients.

At the end of 2016, government regulators designated Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center as a Special Focus Facility. Now that the nursing home has been added to the watch list, they are required to make specific corrections promptly or suffer the financial consequences. Some major concerns involving this facility are listed below.

Northeast Atlanta Health And Rehabilitation Center

This facility is a ‘for profit’ 165-certified bed Long-Term Care Center providing cares and services to residents of Atlanta, and Fulton and DeKalb Counties, Georgia. The Home is located at:

1500 S Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30319
(404) 252-2002

In addition to providing skilled nursing care, the Sava Senior Care-affiliated nursing home also offers rehabilitation care, respiratory therapy, bariatric care, dementia care, and intravenous (IV) therapies.

More than $700,000 in Monetary Penalties

Both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Georgia are authorized to issue monetary penalties against any nursing facility identified with serious violations, health hazards, and deficiencies. These fines are meant to alert the Home that continuously providing substandard care will not be tolerated.

Over the last three years, Northeast Atlanta Health And Rehabilitation Center has received two heavy fines including a $218,433 on January 21, 2016, and a second fine of $594,680 on November 9, 2016. Additionally, Medicare denied a request for payment from the nursing home on November 9, 2016, citing substandard care. Within the same time frame, there were 48 formally filed complaints against the facility, and a single facility had reported an issue that all resulted in citations.

Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns

The state of Georgia and the CMS routinely update their long-term care home database systems to reflect all safety concerns, health violations, opened investigations, filed complaints, dangerous hazards, and incident inquiries. This information can be found on numerous sites including Medicare.gov. Many families use this data to determine where to place a loved one who requires the highest level of skilled nursing care and hygiene assistance.

Currently, Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center maintains an overall one out of five stars compared to all nursing homes in the United States. This ranking includes one out of five stars for health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing issues, and four stars for quality measures. Some of serious concerns involving deficiencies, violations, and abuses at this facility are listed below.

  • Failure to Protect Residents from All Abuse, Physical Punishment or Being Separated from Others
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure that [one resident] was free from verbal, rough handling abuse on June 9, 2016, by a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).” The surveyor noted that “this failure caused actual harm to [the resident]. The facility failed to protect [the resident] from verbal, emotional and physical abuse by staff, [and] failed to investigate the allegation of abuse in a timely manner.”

    An additional deficiency was also noted because the facility failed “to take immediate action to suspend the alleged perpetrator and protect other residents during the investigation” that according to facility policy “placed other residents at risk for serious injury or harm.” The surveyors determined that the facility’s noncompliance “with one or more requirements of participation has caused, or in the likelihood has caused, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to residents.”

    The Administration and the nursing staff were reminded of the facility’s July 16, 2016, policy that reads in part:

    “Each resident has a right to be free from mistreatment, neglect, abuse, involuntary seclusion, injuries of unknown origin, and misappropriation of property. Any observations or allegations of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment must be immediately reported to the Nursing Home Administrator or the Director of Nursing.” “Abuse means the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting harm, pain or mental anguish.…”

    The incident was documented by a Certified Nursing Assistant who wrote in a statement that “during her orientation, while precepting with [another Certify Nursing Assistant that] she witnessed [the allegedly abusive CNA] be rough while dressing [the resident]” and speaking in an abrupt manner. The CNA in training witnessed the allegedly abusive CNA “leaning over [the resident] trying to put her top on [and while] putting her clothes on in said to her ‘We are not going to do this [***] today.”

    She further stated that the allegedly abusive CNA “started to put pants on [the resident] and then transferred her to the chair, then noticed tears on [the resident’s] face. She gave [the resident] a washcloth the cleaner face and [the resident] stated to her ‘no you do it.’” After the investigation, the Administration concluded that the “allegation of physical and verbal abuse can be substantiated.”

    It was determined that the allegedly abusive CNA “will be separated from the facility in her name will be reported to the local police and Certified Nursing Board registry.” The report indicates that the resident “and her family will be notified of facility findings.”

  • Failure to Immediately Notify the Doctor or Family Member of a Change in the Resident’s Condition
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure to “notify family and physician of incidents of changes in the resident’s status. Specifically: the facility failed to notify the family in a timely manner of an allegation of abuse for [one resident].” Also, it was noted that the facility had also failed to “ensure timely notification of responsible party/family members when the resident developed a pressure ulcer; and the facility failed to notify the physician when blood sugars for [three other residents dropped] below 70.”

    The surveyors determined that “the facility’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of participation had caused or had the likelihood to cause a serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to residents.” The surveyors informed the Nursing Home Administrator and Director of Nursing of an Immediate Jeopardy had occurred at the facility at 3:30 PM on August 11, 2016. After filing an acceptable Allegiance of Compliance on August 19, 2016, the Immediate Jeopardy was removed on September 14, 2016.

    However, in one incident, the surveyors reviewed a resident’s Clinical Record that revealed the resident “was verbally, physically and emotionally abused on June 9, 2016. However, [the facility] did not notify the physician until a day or two later, nor the responsible party until June 17, 2016.”

    During a complaint triage on the morning of July 18, 2016, surveyors conducted an interview with the family who “revealed that the family was not notified of the abuse which occurred on June 9, 2016, incident until” eight days later.

  • Failure to Report and Investigate Acts or Reports of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to investigate an allegation of abuse, [and a failure] to report to the State Survey Agency (SSA) within 24 hours.” It was also noted that the facility failed to “protect residents during the investigation of alleged abuse, [and] failed to report the findings of a substantiated allegation of verbal and physical abuse, which occurred on June 9, 2016, within 24 hours.”

    The surveyor noted that the facility had “failed to report to the State Survey Agency (SSA) in a timely manner, a substantiated allegation of verbal and physical abuse, which occurred on June 9, 2016. The facility Incident Report was not sent to the SSA until June 17, 2016, which was eight days after the incident.”

  • Failure to Ensure the Nursing Home Is Free from Accident Hazards That Led to a Resident’s Death
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, investigators noted that the facility had “failed to ensure a safe environment for [three residents]. Specifically, the facility failed to provide adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents for [a resident] who had a history of [falls].” This resident had “suffered actual harm when she fell again [that] contributed to an additional hip fracture which led to her ultimate demise.”

    Surveyors also noted the facility failed “to ensure the environment remained is Free from accident hazards as possible for [two residents] who required multiple electrical devices when their medical equipment was plugged into a power strip.” This deficiency “resulted in actual harm when the facility unplugged the pressure prevention mattress used for [the resident] who had severe pressure sores.”

  • Failure to Provide Necessary Services and Care to Maintain the Resident’s Highest Well-Being
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to ensure eleven residents received insulin or fingerstick blood sugar assessments as ordered by the physician.” Surveyors also noted that the facility “failed to ensure the blood monitoring devices were accurately functioning using the control assessments. This facility had a total of 40 residents with physician’s orders for sliding-scale insulin…”

  • Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to Prevent the Development of a Bedsore or Allow an Existing Bedsore to Heal
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state surveyor noted the facility had failed to “ensure residents without pressure sores did not develop pressure sores.” Surveyors also identified a failure “to ensure residents with pressure sores did not worsen, and; [a failure] to ensure residents with pressure sores receive necessary treatment and services to promote healing.”

    The surveyor reviewed medical records signed and dated by the Director of Nursing that revealed a total of ten residents had pressure sores. This report indicates that “five [pressure sores] were acquired within the facility, [and] 109 residents [are] receiving preventative skin care.” The report also revealed that “two residents are bed-fast, nine residents are in bed/chair most the time, 79 residents [are] incontinent of urine and 68 [are] incontinent of the bowel, the two residents [are] on a toileting program.”

  • Failure to Ensure That Residents Receive Proper Services to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections and Restore No More Bladder Function
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility had failed to “ensure there was a physician’s order [for a resident] with an indwelling catheter.” A review of the resident’s Care Plan indicated that the resident had a “date of initiation for the indwelling catheter of May 4, 2016.” However, a review of the resident’s physician’s orders dated August 2016 revealed “no evidence of an order for [a catheter].”

  • Failure to Ensure Residents with Reduced Range of Motion Get Proper Treatment and Services to Increase Their Range of Motion
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated November 9, 2016, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to communicate the need for the use of a sling during transfer activities and meals, [and a failure] to ensure the use of a right-hand splint per the occupational therapist’s recommendations.” Another deficiency was also noted that the facility had failed “to follow their Splint or Brace Assistance Policy for [a resident].”

  • Failure to Provide Services That Meet Professional Standards of Quality
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 3, 2016, the surveyors noted that the facility had failed to “provide professional quality of care [for one resident] who suffered a fractured femur by not reporting an x-ray report to the physician correctly for additional intervention.” Surveyors documented this deficiency as a failure that “caused actual harm [to a resident] for nine days at which time the resident was transferred to an acute care facility.” The investigator noted the facility failed “to report one radiology report of the knee and failed to obtain additional x-rays as recommended in the radiologist report.”

    The surveyor interviewed the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) on March 2, 2016, provided the resident care. The CNA revealed that “after the resident fell… she would complain and say her hip hurt. I knew that wasn’t usual for [the resident] and I knew that something was wrong. I told the nurse on duty that the resident was hurting and that she did not want to get out of bed.”

    An interview conducted with the facility License Practical Nurse on the morning of March 3, 2016, revealed that “before the resident falling into three 2016, the resident was able to stand, pivot, turn and sit herself on the toilet with one-person standby assistance.” However, after the fall “now we have to use a Hoyer lift to get the resident out of bed.” The resident was sent out to the local hospital and upon returning “cries a lot and… States she does not know what’s going on and asks, ‘what’s wrong with me?’”

Were You Harm through Abuse and Neglect?

If you believe that your loved one suffered abuse, mistreatment or neglect while a patient at Northeast Atlanta Health And Rehabilitation Center, call a personal injury attorney now. With legal representation, your family can file a claim for compensation to ensure you receive monetary recovery for the harm, injuries, and damages you have endured.

No upfront payments are necessary because personal injury law firms accept every wrongful death lawsuit and nursing home neglect claim for compensation through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement means that you receive immediate legal representation and avoid making payments until your compensation claim has been resolved at trial or through a negotiated out of court settlement. This agreement includes a “No Win/No Fee” Guarantee.

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