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Rio Rancho Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys

Rio Rancho NM nursing home Ratings Graph

Any disruptive, inappropriate or hostile behavior occurring in a nursing facility is unacceptable. Unfortunately, recent research has found that approximately 20 percent of all nursing home residents have been victimized by one or more aggressive or negative encounters with caregivers and other residents while living at the facility. In fact, the Rio Rancho nursing home abuse & neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC have handled many cases in New Mexico where the nursing home victim suffered injury or harm through physical or verbal abuse, invasion of privacy, inappropriate sexual behavior and outright neglect.

Medicare regularly collects information on every nursing facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico based on data gathered through inspections, surveys and investigations. According to the database monitored by the federal government, investigators identified serious violations and deficiencies at four (18%) of the twenty-two Rio Rancho nursing facilities that caused resident’s preventable harm. If your loved one was injured, mistreated, abused or died unexpectedly from neglect while living at a nursing home in New Mexico, your family must protect their rights for justice. We invite you to contact the Rio Rancho nursing home abuse & neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center (800-926-7565) today. Schedule a free case review and let us discuss your legal options for obtaining monetary recovery to ensure you are compensated for your damages.

Even though policymakers, researchers and the advocates have gone to great lengths to strengthen nursing home regulations, rules and laws, the cases involving abuse, neglect and mistreatment are still exceedingly high. This number is expected to grow even higher in the years ahead as many more of the aging population enter their retirement years.

Cases of mistreatment are especially of concern in Rio Rancho and Sandoval/ Bernalillo Counties. This is because out of the more than 800,000 residents living in both counties an average of 15 percent or 120,000 individuals are in their retirement years. The limited number of nursing home beds and the increasing number of elderly citizens in New Mexico will likely cause overcrowding and a lack of adequate staff to ensure that the needs of all residents are met.

Rio Rancho Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns

Our New Mexico elder abuse attorneys recognize that many forms of mistreatment, neglect and abuse are hidden, undetectable or underreported. Often times, the victim lacks the capacity to speak up to say what happened, or live in fear of retaliation from those that cause them harm, should word get out of the perpetrator’s unacceptable behavior. However, recognizing and assessing neglect and abuse against the elderly and disabled is a crucial component to stopping the mistreatment.

In an effort to provide assistance, our Rio Rancho nursing home lawyers continuously scour publicly available data from numerous sources including outlining specific cases occurring in nursing facilities. The information we obtain provides valuable information on safety concerns, health violations, opened investigations and filed complaints against nursing facilities all throughout New Mexico. We publish this information in an effort to help families make the best decision of where to place a loved one and which facilities to avoid.

Comparing Rio Rancho Area Nursing Facilities

The detailed list below was compiled by our Sandoval County nursing home neglect attorneys. The information lists the Rio Rancho area nursing facilities that currently maintain below average ratings compared to other homes nationwide. We have also added our primary concerns by showing specific cases where the victim was directly or indirectly harmed by the actions or inactions of the nursing staff and/or other residents. Some of these cases involve harm or injury caused by the spread of infection, avoidable accidents, facility acquired bedsores, safety violations, health hazards and other serious problems.

Information on New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawsuits

Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across New Mexico to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:

Overall Rating of 22 Nursing Homes
    Rating: 5 out of 5 (5) Much above average
    Rating: 4 out of 5 (6) Above average
    Rating: 3 out of 5 (7) Average
    Rating: 2 out of 5 (3) Below average
    Rating: 1 out of 5 (1) Much below average
August 2018

4210 Sabana Grande SE
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124
(505) 892-6603

A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars

3 stars rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide All the Necessary Services and Care to Ensure That the Resident Maintains Their Highest Well-Being by Properly Managing Their Pain

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 01/08/2016, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “provide the necessary care to effectively manage pain.” The failure by the nursing staff at Rio Rancho Center “resulted in the resident experiencing pain with adequate relief.”

The deficient practice was noted by the state investigator after an interview conducted at 3:42 PM on 01/05/2016 with the resident who “stated that she was in pain all over due to ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – a progressive neurodegenerative condition affecting nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain] and that sometimes the pain medication helps and other times, it doesn’t.” The investigator noted that the resident’s “stated that her pain was currently a seven on a scale of 1 through 10.”

A follow-up interview two days later on 01/07/2015 at 9:08 AM, the state investigator spoke with the Licensed Practical Nurse providing the resident care who stated that the resident “is a hospice resident and lately, she has been requesting her [medication] every four hours which helps and that she also receives [other medications].” The Licensed Practical Nurse stated that “she was thinking that it might be time to assess whether the resident may need for [medication] order changed to a scheduled dose instead of the as needed though since [the resident] was requesting it more often and that she [the Licensed Practical Nurse] had notified hospice of this.”

The investigator reviewed the resident’s 11/17/2015 Pain Screening Form that revealed that the resident stated that “she is uncomfortable presently, conditions that may cause pain – ALS.” A review of the resident’s Progress Notes revealed that as of 12/15/2015, the resident is treated with pain medication and has “pain at an 8 on a pain scale of one through 10 during the past 48 hours.” Two days later on 12/17/2015, the resident again requesting the pain medication every four hours. Notations are made that the nursing staff “will inform hospice for reevaluation of medication times.”

However, a review of the resident’s “Medical Record did not reveal any hospice nursing notes or physician’s orders” or that the orders “had been acted upon. The investigator reviewed the as needed (PRN) Pain Management Flow Sheet that revealed that in December 2015, the resident had requested their pain medication 25 times and that between 01/01/2016 and 01/07/2015 the resident had requested their medication for pain 20 times.

The investigator conducted a 10:10 AM 01/07/2016 interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing who stated “that the resident’s [medication] dosage had been increased on 12/21/2015. After reviewing the progress note, which indicated that hospice was notified requesting evaluation of the [medication] administration times, she stated that she was unable to find any hospice nurse notes to indicate that this was followed up on and that she would have to call the hospice provider to determine what was done about this.” As a follow-up, the Director of Nursing “was unable to locate any documentation to indicate that this had been done.”

In a follow-up interview with the resident at 10:15 AM the same day, the resident stated that “her pain was currently a seven on a pain scale of one through 10 level and that she had just requested her [medication] for pain.” One hour later at 11:15 AM, the resident stated that “she received the [medication] a few minutes after asking for, but that her pain was still at a seven out of 10 level and that the medication had not been effective.”

Nearly 25 minutes later at 11:38 AM, the hospice nurse was interviewed and stated that the resident “started having episodes of increased pain around Thanksgiving and since then, she has been requesting the [pain medication] about every four hours.” The hospice nurse stated that “I don’t know that we’re controlling it (the pain) well.” The nurse from hospice also indicated that she had spoken “with the resident and 01/06/2016 about increasing the [pain medication] dosage or scheduling the dose and that the resident agreed with this. The hospice nurse stated that the resident was discussed in the interdisciplinary team (IDT) meeting on 01/05/2016 and that the physician stated that it would be okay to increase the [pain medication] does, but did not submit an order to increase the dose.”

“The hospice nurse stated that when she met with [the resident] on 01/06/2016, the resident stated that sometimes the pain medication helps and sometimes, it doesn’t […and] stated that the resident should be evaluated to determine if she needs an increase in her dose and more frequent dose but verified that this had not happened yet.

Our Rio Rancho nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide all necessary care and services to residents to ensure their pain management is effective could diminish their quality of life because they are continuously in pain. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Rio Rancho Center might be considered negligence or mistreatment because the nursing staff and attending physician failed to take appropriate measures to increase the dose or manage the medication to be as effective as possible.

9150 McMahon Boulevard NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87114
(505) 898-7986

A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 3 out of 5 possible stars

3 stars rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Immediately Notify the Resident’s Doctor and Family Member of a Change in the Resident’s Condition That Likely Led to Their Demise

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 09/22/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “notify the physician of a change in mental status for [a resident at the facility] during a complaint investigation for neglect.” The investigator noted that “by not informing the physician of a resident’s change of condition, a resident cannot be evaluated of medical intervention is needed.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center likely resulted in the resident “not receiving medical interventions that could have prevented her demise.”

The complaint investigation involved a review of a resident’s History and Physical Form (H & P) that revealed that upon admission from a secondary long-term adult care facility, the resident had “difficulty walking due to an infection and swollen right knee and an abscess in the left five.” The investigator also noted that the resident’s H & P revealed the resident “had been hospitalized and had a history of drug addiction and was currently on [prescribed medications].” It was also noted that the “resident’s history was from the resident herself.”

Upon review of the resident’s Interdisciplinary Discharge Summary, it was noted that the resident had been admitted to the facility and had expired.

The investigator also reviewed the resident’s electronic MAR (Medication Administration Record) to show that when the resident was being treated their “blood pressure was being monitored twice daily with the last document blood pressure… noted to be within normal limits.” However, a review of the resident’s TAR (Treatment Administration Record) “revealed an order to check vital signs twice a day at both 6 AM and 6 PM, which conflicts the physician’s orders of checking vitals every shift.

In addition, the resident’s Nurse’s Notes revealed that the resident was found “up in a wheelchair, having difficulty breathing.” The nursing staff provided a re-breather mask to deliver a higher concentration of oxygen and documented in the Nurse’s Notes that the resident had a poor appetite. However, even though there was extensive documentation on the care that was provided to the resident, “there was no documentation found indicating a physician or any other health care professional was notified.”

On the date of the resident’s death, the Nurse’s Notes reveal that the resident “was found lying in bed at 5:15 AM, unresponsive and not breathing and death was pronounced at 5:50 AM.”

The state investigator conducted an interview with the facility’s Administrator who stated that “she did not know if the physician was notified of the [resident’s] change in condition and after review of the medical record, was unable to find any documentation to indicate the physician had been notified.”

The investigator asked the Administrator “what her expectation would be if a resident was demonstrating any changes in condition.” The Administrator responded, “that she would expect the nurses would be checking the resident.”

10500 Academy Road NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87111
(505) 294-9944

A “For-Profit” 60-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 stars rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Policies and Procedures That Prevent the Spread of Infection throughout the Facility

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 12/12/2014, a state surveyor made a notation during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “provide a sanitary environment that prevents the spread of disease and infection.” This deficient practice by the nursing staff at Montebello on Academy involved one resident “who had MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)” but could potentially affect all 54 residents at the facility.

The deficient practice was noted by the state investigator after an interview with a Licensed Practical Nurse at 9:47 AM on 12/10/2014 in regards to a resident who “was currently being treated with IV (intravenous) antibiotics for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection in his right hip. When asked why [the resident] was not in isolation, the [Licensed Practical Nurse] stated that [the resident] has MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), then we would isolate them but that the Director of Nursing makes the decision to isolate or not.”

Later that afternoon at 3:05 PM, the state surveyor conducted an interview with the Registered Nurse providing the resident care “who stated that if a resident had MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and it was contained in their wound then, we don’t put them in isolation.” The Registered Nurse was asked, “if it was okay to put another resident in the same room with [the resident] with MRSA.” The Registered Nurse replied, “Yes.” The surveyor then asked the Registered Nurse “even when the second resident did not have MRSA or have a history of MRSA?” The Registered Nurse replied, “If the MRSA was contained in the wound, then yes.”

The following day on 12/11/2014 at the 11:35 AM, an interview with the resident was conducted. During the interview, the resident “stated that he had been sharing the bathroom with his roommate, but today they brought me a bedside commode to use.” During this interview with the resident, it was observed that the other resident was lying in his bed in the same room.

A few minutes later at 11:45 AM, an interview was conducted with the Registered Nurse who confirmed that the resident “does have MRSA and he is not under isolation precautions […and] further confirmed that the resident’s roommate does not have MRSA.” The nurse also stated that the resident “has no drainage coming from the wound at this time and he [the infected resident] has an appointment coming up to see his infectious disease doctor who would tell us when he [infected resident] will come off isolation.”

A few hours later on 12/11/2014 at 2:45 PM, an interview was conducted by the state surveyor with the facility’s Director of Nursing who stated that “she was responsible for infection control of the facility and worked with the [Registered Nurse] on infection control training and issues.” The state surveyor asked the Director “about isolation practices and in particular MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).” When the Director was asked about isolation guidelines she responded that “she follows State guidelines, which follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines.”

The investigator then asked the Director of Nursing to define “cohorting” in reference to MRSA. The Director responded that “Ideally, we would not put a resident with an open wound in the same room with someone who had MRSA and MRSA cannot be spread like Clostridium difficile because it is not a spore.” The Director was asked “if the facility had an Infection Control Committee per the facility’s policies. The Director replied, “No.” The Director also stated that they just pick a product out of a list of products when choosing the type of disinfection wipes to use in the facility instead of having specific wipes to use to sanitize areas of people with infections.

Our Albuquerque nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to develop, implement and enforce policies that prevent the spread of infection throughout the facility could jeopardize every resident. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Montebello on Academy might be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow established protocols adopted by the facility and enforced by nursing home regulations and federal and state laws.

103 Hospital Loop NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
(505) 348-8300

A “For-Profit” 134-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 stars rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce Policies That Prevent Neglect, Mistreatment or Abuse of Residents That Could Lead to Actual Harm

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 06/16/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “implement their policies and procedures regarding the screening of new employees to rule out a history of abuse, neglect and mistreatment [of residents].” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Albuquerque Heights Healthcare Rehabilitation Center had the potential to expose all 117 residents at the facility to abuse and/or neglect.

As a part of the investigation, the state surveyor reviewed and employees personal file that “revealed no documentation that a Caregiver Criminal History Screen had been conducted.”

As a result, the state investigator conducted a 10:30 AM 06/11/2050 interview with the facility’s Human Resources Director. When the Director was asked about the employee’s Caregiver Criminal History Report “she stated that ‘This one fell through the cracks. We didn’t know if he was going to work out’.” The investigator asked “if the facility has submitted a fingerprint request form” and the employee is required by law.

The Human Resources Director stated, “that she had submitted a form this morning (after the information was requested).” The Director was then “asked if the employee was working.” The Director replied that “the employee was on duty and that he was a Dietary Aide.”

The state investigator that conducted a 10:35 AM 06/11/2015 interview with the Dietary Manager who stated that the employee “is a dishwasher and stays in the kitchen only.” A few minutes later at 10:42 AM, the surveyor then conducted an interview with the facility’s Administrator who stated that “if an employee is found to not have a background check in a timely fashion, the employee would be sent home immediately. When informed about the employee who did not have a background check, she stated that she would be removing him from duty immediately and would send him to be fingerprinted.”

Our Albuquerque nursing home abuse lawyers recognize that failing to follow procedures and protocols during hiring practices that enforce steps to prevent abuse, mistreatment or neglect from occurring could place every resident in immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at administrative office at Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center might be considered abuse or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow the facility’s 08/31/2007 Policy Titled: Abuse Prevention Policy and Procedure that reads in part:

“Screening: the center will screen potential employees upon hire for a history of abuse, neglect or mistreatment.”

8100 Palomas Avenue
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
(505) 821-4200

A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 stars rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Receives a Level Care in Accordance with Professional Standards to Eliminate the Potential of Actual Harm

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/20/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure that services provided met professional standards of quality and accepted standards of practice by failing to provide wound care per physician’s orders.”

The deficient practice was noted by the state investigator upon review of a resident’s 04/17/2015 Hospital Discharge Summary that indicated that the resident while at the hospital “underwent exploratory laparotomy [a surgical procedure where the surgeon makes an incision through the patient’s abdominal wall as a way to gain access into the patient’s abdomen]. Due to the patient’s kidney injury, the patient was transferred to [the hospital]. As a part of the closure procedure, the abdominal fascia was closed during the procedure, but skin was left open for the placement of a wound VAC.

When the resident returned to the nursing facility after being discharged on 04/17/2015, the Hospital Discharge Orders directed the facility nursing staff to provide wound care. The physician’s orders note “wound VAC to midline (of the abdomen), change every 48 to 72 hours; ostomy to lower left quadrant change as needed” where the surgically created opening discharges body wastes.

As a part of the treatment, the resident was to receive continuous Negative Pressure Wound Therapy that required extensive care including cleansing the wound, applying occlusive dressing, securing tubing and turning off the “negative pressure wound therapy” for care, procedures and testing along with bathing and other hygiene. The therapy also needed to be turned off “for transport, remove dressing entirely, cleanse the wound and apply hydrogel gauze.”

However, the state investigator noted that a full review of the resident’s interdisciplinary progress notes between 04/17/2015 and 05/04/2015 “revealed no documentation indicated the wound care was performed as ordered.” A review of the resident’s TAR (Treatment Administration Record) throughout the month of April noted further extensive treatment and care to the resident’s wounds. However, the investigator noted that “no dates marked to indicate that the above treatment was performed.”

The investigator conducted an interview with the facility’s medical doctor and 02/20/2015 who stated that “he saw the resident one time on 08/21/2015 […and] that the resident’s orders from the wound care came from the hospital and that they were to be continued at the facility.”

During the interview, the medical doctor also stated that “the standards of practice for wound VAC care would be to perform the wound care anywhere from daily to every third day and that he ordered that this resident’s wound care would be continued [in a way that is] consistent with the hospital discharge instructions of treatment every three days.”

Ten minutes later, the surveyor conducted an interview with the facility’s Assistant Director of Nursing who stated that “at the time of this incident, the facility had two nurses who were caring for this resident and that after interviewing the nurses involved, he stated that the nurses had no explanation for why the wound care was not done.” Additionally, the Assistant Director of Nursing also stated that “the wound canister was being changed but that the actual wound care was not performed as ordered by the physician […and] that the two nurses involved in the care of [the resident] received in-service training and an Individual Performance Improvement Plan and that all nurses are scheduled to receive the in-service training by [the last day of May 2015].”

The investigator also interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing a few minutes later who indicated that “the two nurses involved in the care of [the resident] were in-serviced and receive disciplinary action due to the failure to perform wound care for [the resident].” The Director of Nursing also stated that “the wound care was not done due to rushing and lack of attention to detail on the part of the nurses.”

Our Albuquerque elder abuse network of attorneys recognizes that failing to ensure that every resident receives the highest level of care in accordance with professional standards could potentially cause actual harm. The deficient practices by the nursing staff at Las Palomas Center could be considered negligence or mistreatment because their actions fail to follow established procedures and protocols adopted by the facility and enforced by federal and state nursing home regulations.

Identifying Abuse and Neglect

Many cases involving mistreatment, exploitation, abuse and neglect are obvious to detect. Other times, the resident must be assessed or screened to identify the level of mistreatment. This is because many nursing home residents become victims of self-neglect due to cognitive impairment or physical inabilities. Many frail elderly residents suffering from cognitive impairment are challenged to accurately recount an incident or event involving abuse. In these cases, recalling circumstances and details may not be enough to identify the suspected perpetrator that caused them harm.

Protecting the victim of abuse is crucial. State and federal laws require that the alleged perpetrator be removed from the situation until a complete, full and comprehensive investigation can be conducted to determine exactly what happened. Even so, many nursing home residents live in fear of retaliation, even if the perpetrator is no longer present in the facility.

Even though national, state and local laws require that the nursing staff and other medical professionals are required to report any suspected event, action or incident of neglect, abuse or exploitation, it does not always happen. This is because administrators, nursing staff, directors and management are not always aware that the level of harm, injury or trauma the resident endures is at a level that needs to be reported to state and federal agencies. Without oversight, many victims’ cases slip through the cracks. Because of that, families will often hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse, mistreatment and neglect cases to serve as a legal advocate for their loved one.

Hiring an Attorney

The laws of New Mexico and the United States governments have been enacted and enforced as a way to provide nursing home residents protection against abuse and neglect. However, when a loved one is harmed, proving exactly how those laws, rules and regulations have been violated will require an experienced New Mexico nursing home attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of state tort law.

The Rio Rancho nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC have handled many cases of mistreatment in nursing facilities all throughout the Albuquerque area. Our reputable New Mexico elder abuse lawyers fight aggressively to protect the rights of our clients to hold those at fault legally answerable and financially accountable to the victim and family members.

We encourage you to contact our Sandoval County neglect and abuse attorneys today by calling our law offices at (800) 926-7565. We provide a free full case evaluation and consultation to discuss the merits of your claim for compensation. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential. We accept all nursing home abuse and neglect cases through contingency fee arrangements. This means we provide immediate legal representation without the need for any upfront payment. All of our services are paid only after we win your case at trial or negotiate an acceptable amount of financial compensation through an out-of-court settlement.

For additional information on New Mexico laws and information on nursing homes look here.

Other Nursing Homes Around Rio Rancho:

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Resources

If you are looking for information on a specific facility or an attorney, please see links below to respective locality pages.

Client Reviews

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