Poplar Living Center (SFF) Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

Sava Senior CareBoth the State of Wyoming and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine surveys, investigations, and inspections of every nursing home statewide. When inspectors identify problems and deficiencies, the regulators offer the facility numerous opportunities to adjust their policies and procedures, and improvements to the level of care they provide residents.

If the facility’s problems are egregious, regulators have the legal authority of designating the Home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF). Also, the nursing home is placed on the federal Medicare deficiency watch list and required to undergo extensive unscheduled inspections, and unannounced investigations into formally filed complaints. Some SFF nursing homes have lost their contract to provide care to Medicaid/Medicare-funded patients.

Years ago, regulators designated Poplar Living Center as a Special Focus Facility. Since then, the Home has not made significant improvements to be taken off the Federal watch list. Some of the serious concerns, health violations, deficiencies and problems occurring at this facility are documented below.

Poplar Living Center

This facility is a ‘for profit’ 120-certified bed Long-Term Care Center providing cares and services to residents of Casper and Natrona County, Wyoming. The Home is located at:

4305 S Poplar
Casper, WY 82601
(307) 237-2561

In addition to providing round the clock skilled nursing care, the Sava Senior Care-affiliated nursing facility also offers rehabilitative care, IV (intravenous) therapy, dementia care, respiratory therapy, and bariatric care.

Over $50,000 in Penalties

Federal and state nursing home regulators have the legal authority to impose monetary penalties against any nursing home in Wyoming identified with serious deficiencies and violations. These fines are meant to discourage substandard performance and improve the level of care the Home provides.

Over the last three years, Poplar Living Center received one fine of $50,715 on December 15, 2016. Additionally, Medicare denied a request for payment on November 6, 2015, due to providing substandard care. During the same time, state surveyors investigated 67 formally filed complaints that all resulted in issued citations.

Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns

The state of Wyoming routinely updates their long-term care home database system to reflect all incident inquiries, dangerous hazards, opened investigations, health violations, filed complaints, and safety concerns. This information can be viewed at numerous sites including Medicare.gov.

Currently, Poplar Living Center maintains an overall two out of five stars compared to all nursing homes in the US. This ranking includes one out of five stars for health inspections, four out of five stars for staffing issues, and four out of five stars for quality measures. Some serious deficiencies, violations, and concerns involving this facility include:

  • Failure to Notify the Resident’s Doctor Immediately of the Serious Decline in Their Medical Condition That Jeopardizes Their Health [recurring deficiency]
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to consult with the resident’s physician after a change of condition for [four residents] with a change in condition. This failure resulted in harm to [two] residents.” The incident was identified after reviewing an Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) Note dated May 12, 2015, that revealed the resident “was admitted to the facility for rehabilitation after lumbar surgery, and infection of the surgical wound.” A Nursing Note dated May 27, 2015, revealed the resident was “crying out this morning, very drowsy from pay medications earlier, … and complains that [they] could not feel [their] legs, difficulty sitting up at bedtime, very adamant that [they] wanted to lay in bed.”

    A late entry on the May 27/May 28, 2015 Nursing Note revealed a “request to get the resident in to see [their physician] due to increased pain and difficulty moving [their] legs.” The resident “was rescheduled with an appointment for the twenty-ninth. Incision noted to be without [any signs or symptoms of] infection and the resident was [transferred with the extensive assist of one person] into a recliner with the nurse.” However, “further review of the medical record [revealed that there was] no evidence of the physician was contacted directly about the resident’s increased pain and inability to feel [their] legs.”

    In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2016, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to immediately notify the resident’s family/representative” of a change in the resident’s condition. This incident involved a review of an incident/accident report dated December 2, 2016, at 2:02 AM that revealed the resident “was the victim of a resident-to-resident physical abuse incident. The resident was sitting in [their] room when [an allegedly abusive resident] came and started hitting [them] with a closed fist and ramming [their] lower legs with their walker.

    The abused resident’s Nursing Note revealed “multiple bruises noted on bilateral lower extremities and bilateral upper extremities, bruised noted to the left temporal area, and around the left side. Skin tear noted to the right shin.” The document also shows that the resident “is terrified of being attacked again.”

    The state investigator documented that the notification of the incident was made to the resident’s son on December 2, 2016, at 2:00 PM, twelve hours after the incident, which resulted in injury in fear for the resident.” The surveyor interviewed the facility Director of Nursing on December 15, 2016, who “revealed his expectation was for the family/representative to be notified of injury and change in condition as soon as possible. In addition, he confirmed the facility did not have a policy related to notifying family/representatives of incidents.” It was documented that the facility “failed to ensure [two abuse allegations] were reported as required.”

  • Failure to Report and Investigate Acts or Allegations of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state investigator documented that the facility failed “to ensure thirteen random reportable incidents related to abuse, neglect or mistreatment will report or investigated. These incidents involved twelve residents.” The state investigator reviewed grievances that “revealed issues were identified and required reporting an investigation to rule out abuse/neglect/mistreatment. Some of these reportable incidents included:

    • A resident alleged that they “did not receive pain medication, call light three times for excessive, and when the aide came in, the a told [the resident] that they were short staff and she could not help her. The resident also reports to the aide said ‘you. You are winding because therapy is going to be worse.” The resident’s Concern Form revealed that the resident stated that there “pain management needs and other needs were not being met and this is abuse.”
    • A second resident alleged, “an aide being extremely rude, yelling at me, throwing close at me.”
    • Another resident’s “waited for eight hours to go to the restroom. The form showed a CNA contributed to this by not having the right kind of toilet. The action taking showed the Occupational Therapists Manager got a bedside commode for the resident.”
    • A third resident alleged that “medications were not being provided, a Registered Nurse was very rude, and another Registered Nurse wanted to make [their] wound bleed when cleaning it [and] it hurt.”
    • A fourth resident “alleged another resident was very mean to other residents, was calling residents names, including [them].” The resident’s December 11, 2015, Concern Form revealed that the resident “was very upset near tears, [and that] the resident reports [they feel] that another resident is being neglected and abused.”
    • A fifth resident revealed through a Concern Form that they were “scared and did not feel safe around [another resident].”
    • A sixth resident’s Concern Form revealed that “this resident was scared and yelling and crying. The fear was due to [the above allegedly abusive resident] being in [the reporting resident’s] room standing over [them]. The concern form further showed it was very apparent [they are] afraid of [the allegedly abusive resident, and claim] ‘I concerned about the safety of other residents.’”
    • A seventh resident’s Concern Form revealed that [the allegedly abusive resident above] was pulling [this resident’s] out of [their] room with an oxygen cord. When trying to redirect [the allegedly abusive resident, they] became agitated [which further showed that they are] very concerned about the safety of others.”
  • Failure to Provide Nursing Services That Meet Professional Standards of Care [recurring deficiencies]
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state investigator documented that the facility had failed to “ensure a physician’s orders were followed for [four residents].” The state investigator interviewed the Director of Nursing, the Assistant Director of Nursing, and the Corporate Registered Nurse who confirmed that “the resident’s wound [dressing] was not changed according to physician’s orders because the facility did not have a needed supply. Further, the Director of Nursing confirmed the physician was not contacted regarding the facility’s inability to apply the wound [dressing] until [four days after the order was given].”

    In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to ensure adequate care or timely response to a change in condition for [five residents].” The deficient practice by the nursing staff “resulted in actual harm for two residents who were transported to the hospital for acute care.”

    In a third summary statement of deficiencies dated February 9, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility had failed to “ensure the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being were provided for [a resident] whose change in condition required immediate medical care.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff “resulted in actual harm for the resident, who was not transported to the hospital until a minimum of three hours and twenty-six minutes after staff was aware of the resident’s symptoms.”

    The nursing staff failed to notify the resident’s physician of a change in the resident’s condition until three hours and fifteen minutes after noticeable symptoms were identified. Instead of calling for EMT services for appropriate transportation, the resident was transported to the hospital in a facility van using facility transport staff (a CNA). The local emergency room documentation noted the resident was “confused and was poorly responsive.” The patient was pronounced dead at 7:41 PM on January 21, 2017.

  • Failure to Provide an Environment Free of Accident Hazards
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state surveyor documented the facility’s failure “to thoroughly investigate falls and develop and implement interventions to prevent future falls for two residents.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff “resulted ina significant injury to [one resident who requires extensive physical assistance with bed mobility and transfers].”

    The state investigator reviewed the resident’s Progress Note dated December 11, 2015, that revealed the resident “was found on the floor in [their] room. According to the note, the resident tried to self-transfer from the wheelchair to the bed. No injuries were found.” This note led the surveyor to review the resident’s Interdisciplinary Post Review dated December 11, 2015, that showed the fall and that the “resident’s Care Plan should be revised.” However, there was a failure “to indicate what revision should be made to the Care Plan to reduce the resident’s risk for further falls.”

  • Failure to Ensure There Were Adequate Staff Members at the Facility to Maximize the Resident’s Well-Being
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated January 15, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure adequate numbers of nursing staff were available to provide timely care.” The investigation included a review of the Daily Staffing Records for December 2015 that revealed that on “19 of 31 days (61%), the facility staff only three CNAs to cover six hallways from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

  • Failure to Provide Routine and 24-Hour Emergency Dental Care for Each Resident
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 20, 2016, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “ensure dental services were available for three [residents] who needed routine dental care.” The state investigator “requested evidence of the provision of dental services.” However, the “Administrator stated they did not have a current dental contract because it expired in March of this year. He further stated they could make arrangements for emergency dental care but did not have a system for ensuring residents receive routine dental care.”

  • Failure to Follow Protocols and Procedures to Prevent the Spread of Infection throughout the Facility
  • In a summary statement of deficiencies dated July 20, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure staff consistently disinfected the glucometer [a device used to test blood sugar] after use for [three residents].” The surveyor observed a Registered Nurse using “a glucometer for testing [a resident’s] blood sugar level. Further observation revealed the Registered Nurse used the same glucometer [to test] glucose levels for [two other residents, but] did not disinfect the glucometer at any time during the observation.

How to Obtain Compensation for Nursing Home Neglect

If you have any suspicions that your loved one was harmed at Popular Living Center by abuse, mistreatment or neglect, take steps now to hire a personal injury attorney. A lawyer working on your behalf can handle every aspect of your case. Their efforts include filing a claim, gathering evidence, building your case, and presenting the lawsuit in front of a judge and jury or negotiating your settlement.

No upfront payments are necessary because personal injury attorneys accept all nursing home abuse claims for compensation and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement provides immediate legal representation without making a payment until you have obtained financial compensation through your case resolution.

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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