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Authorites Suspend Admission Of New Patients At Life Care Nursing Home After Authorities Discover Conditions That Threaten Patient Safety

Picture-1611On July 31, 2009, the Tennessee Department of Health suspended any new resident admissions to Life Care Center of Athens nursing home due to violations.  Life Care Center of Athens is a large 128 bed nursing home facility located in Athens, TN.  The Department Commissioner can suspend admissions to a nursing home if conditions are or are likely to be detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the resident.

The Tennessee Department of Health’s decision was based on conditions that investigators discovered during a complaint investigation conducted and annual survey conducted from June 14 to July 21.  The facility faces a one-time state civil monetary penalty of $1500 and a federal civil penalty of $4,150 per day until the violations are corrected.

The facility deficiencies included violations of the following standards:

  • performance improvement
  • nursing services

On August 10, 2009, the Tennessee Department of Health announced that it was lifting the facility’s suspension of admissions.  This occurred only after the Department confirmed that the nursing home facility was in substantial compliance for state licensing purposes.

According to the government’s Medicare website, Life Care Center of Athens received two out of five stars, which is a below average rating. The facility also received two stars for health inspections, having received eight health deficiencies in the past year.  This is two more health deficiencies than the average number in Tennessee and equal to the average number in the United States.

The low rating included a level of harm rating of 3, which indicates actual harm, for failing to give residents proper treatment to prevent new pressure sores or heal existing pressure sores.  The facility also received a level of harm rating of 3 for failing to ensure that the nursing home area is free of dangers that cause accidents.

For laws related to Tennessee nursing homes, look here.

Resources:

Knox News – Admissions to Athens Nursing Home Suspended

Life Care Centers of America – Life Care Center of Athens

Clarksville Online – Tennessee Department of Health Lifts Suspension for Life Care Center of Athens

Medicare – Life Care Center of Athens

Nursing Homes Abuse Blog – “Life Care Center” Permitted To Accept New Patients After State Finds Poor Living Conditions

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