Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center, Riverside, South Carolina
Placing a disabled or elderly loved one in a nursing facility is often the family's toughest decision that requires months of research in hopes of finding the safest, comfortable environment. Unfortunately, cases of abuse and neglect by caregivers and other residents have increased dramatically over recent years. An incident of mistreatment is often the result of inadequate background checks, a lack of training, understaffing, insufficient administrative supervision, or careless actions by trained professionals that are always inexcusable. Many victims of nursing home mistreatment are subjected to physical and emotional abuse, verbal assault, sexual assault, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation where an employee at the facility steals money or property from the victim. The South Carolina Nursing Home Law Center Attorneys have represented many families whose loved one was injured or died through wrongful death to ensure they are adequately compensated for their losses, and the perpetrator is held legally accountable.Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center
This Center is a 160-certified bed Facility providing services to residents of Charleston and Charleston County, South Carolina. The "for-profit" Long-Term Care Home is located at:
2375 Baker Hospital Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29405
In addition to providing 24-hour skilled nursing care, the facility also offers other services including:
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Education and skills training
- Medication management
- Smoking cessation
- Therapeutic exercise
Medicare has labeled Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center as a Special Focus Facility (SSF) because of persistently substandard quality of care as determined by federal and state inspection teams. This designation means that the nursing home is subjected to more frequent surveys and inspections, escalating monetary penalties and the potential of being terminated from Medicaid and Medicare.
State investigators working on behalf of the federal government, Medicare, and Medicaid have the legal authority to impose monetary fines or deny payment for Medicare services to any nursing facility that has violated rules and regulations. Within the last three years, investigators have fined Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center three times including one fine for $13,407 on January 17, 2017, another fine of $260,364 on March 31, 2017, and a third fine of $23,537 on September 22, 2017. Additional documentation about penalties and fines can be found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Website concerning this nursing home.Charleston South Carolina Nursing Home Patients Safety Concerns
The South Carolina nursing home regulatory agency routinely updates their care home database system containing the complete list of all incident inquiries, dangerous hazards, opened investigations, health violations, filed complaints, and safety concerns. This information can be found on numerous websites including The South Carolina Department of Public Health and Medicare.
According to Medicare.gov, the facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including one out of five stars concerning health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing issues and four out of five stars for quality measures. The Charleston County abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center have reviewed many violations, safety concerns and deficiencies at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center. A sampling of deficiencies listed below includes:
- Failure to Immediately Notify a Resident, the Resident's Doctor or Family Member of a Change in the Resident's Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 22, 2017, a notation was made by a state surveyor involving the facility's failure to "ensure the physician for [a resident] was notified of the refusal of medications for [one resident] reviewed for notification." The state investigator reviewed the resident's Nurse's Notes dated September 15, 2017, that listed vital signs and revealed that the resident "is alert and oriented. The resident still refusing medications and insulin this shift. No documentation could be found in the resident's medical records to ensure the physician was notified of a refusal to take the medications."
The surveyor interviewed the facility Director of Nurses who "confirmed the findings and stated that sometimes the nurses chart the refusal of medication on the backs of the Medication Administration Record (MAR)." The investigator reviewed the resident's MAR that documented refusal of medications on five occasions between September 5, 2017, and September 19, 2017. However, "no documentation could be found to ensure the physician was notified of the refusals of medication." The investigator reviewed the facility's policy titled: Physician Communication/Change in Condition that read in part:
"To improve communication between physicians and nursing staff, [to] promote optimal patient/resident care. To improve nursing staff with guidelines for making decisions regarding the appropriate and timely notification of medical staff regarding changes in a patient's/resident's condition. The guidelines, procedures [include] notify the physician of a change in the medical condition. The nurse will document all assessments and changes in the patient's/resident's condition and the medical record."
- Failure to Provide Care for Residents to Ensure That Their Dignity and Respect of Individuality Is Built or Maintained
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 22, 2017, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to "ensure the privacy curtains closed between two residents [where one resident] had not yet received her lunch tray and the roommate was being fed [their] lunch." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident "reviewed for dignity."
The incident involved a resident whose roommate "received their lunch tray, and the Certified Nursing Assistant began to feed the roommate, and the resident was lying in bed, and the privacy curtain was not pulled between [both of them]." The investigator interviewed the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who was feeding the resident. The CNA said that they "should have pulled the curtain between the two residents while one resident had a tray and the other resident did not." The deficiency failed to follow the facility's policy and procedure titled: Leadership Policies and Procedures, under Section XI that states:
"The facility staff will provide the patient/resident with his/her right to privacy and security .… close privacy curtains or doors as appropriate during treatment of daily care."
- Failure to Provide Proper Notice to the Resident before a Change in Room or Roommate
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 22, 2017, a state investigator noted the facility's failure to "ensure [two residents and a resident's responsible party or interested family member] was notified of her room change prior to the room change for [two residents] reviewed for notification of room/roommate change."
The state investigator reviewed a resident's Nurse's Notes dated July 5, 2017 and stated that one resident had a room reassignment to a different room and "tolerated transfer and assisted to bed. No complaints voiced [and] was oriented to current room. Side rails times two for bed mobility, call bell within reach." However, there was "no documentation to be found in [the resident's] medical record to ensure [the resident], and the responsible party was notified of the room change [before] the room change."
The state investigator interviewed the Social Services Director who "confirmed the resident nor the responsible party was notified of a room change." The Director also stated that "a form is filled out and put into the resident's medical record to ensure it is documented." However, "no forms of documentation could be found in [the resident's] medical record to ensure that [the resident] and the responsible party had been notified of a room change." The investigator reviewed the facility's policy titled: Room Changes/Transfers within the Facility that reads in part:
"Social Services staff will assist in the relocation that will impact patients/resident's psychosocial status by evaluating the following… The patient/resident's ability to cope with an to adapt to change. The patient/resident's willingness to move to a new location, and how the change will affect the patient/resident's current relationship and social support systems."
A review of the policy also revealed that the "Social Service staff worked with the interdisciplinary team to consider roommate compatibility and physical/care needs to arrive at the most appropriate location for a resident/patient." The document also says that "written notice of all room transfers, utilizing current forms" must be performed and that the Room Change Notification form "will be provided to the patient/resident or his/her qualified legal representative before the anticipated transfer."
- Failure to Provide the Necessary Care and Services to Ensure That the Resident Maintains Their Highest Well-Being
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 22, 2017, a notation was made by a state investigator concerning the facility's failure to "provide the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical well-being." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved a resident who "did not receive ordered medications [promptly]." The state investigator documented that the resident "did not have the coordination of care with Hospice."
The surveying team interviewed the Director of Nurses on September 22, 2017, who said that "the cutoff time for the pharmacy for receiving medication orders and then sending medications to the facility was 5:00 PM." The Director stated that "some medications could be pulled from the emergency kit. After reviewing the emergency kit list of available drugs, the [Director] confirmed the medication was not in the emergency kit and [they] also confirmed the medication was not administered to the resident until August 8, 2017, at 6:00 PM. The survey team reviewed the facility's policy titled Medication Shortages/Unavailable Drugs that reads in part:
"If the medication shortages discovered after normal Pharmacy hours, a licensed facility nurse to obtain the ordered medication from the emergency stocks apply. If the ordered medication is not available in the emergency stock supply, the facility nurse should call the pharmacy's emergency answering service and request to speak with the registered pharmacist on duty to manage the plan of action."
The plan of action might include: "emergency delivery. The use of emergency (backup) third-party pharmacy." Additionally, the investigator reviewed the resident's September 20, 2017 records that revealed "no documentation of visits by the Hospice Nurse since July 31, 2017, and no visitation records for the Hospice Aide since September 5, 2017." During an interview with the Hospice Nurse on September 21, 2017, the nurse stated that "visits should have been in the chart and did not know why they were missing."
- Failure to Ensure That the Facility Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Residents Are Provided Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 22, 2017, a state surveyor opened a formal complaint against the nursing home for its failure to "ensure a Wanderguard was in place at the time of the admission for a resident with a history of wandering and exit seeking." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident "reviewed for behaviors. The facility further failed to ensure the safe use of a Hoyer lift on the 200 unit for [another resident who was] reviewed for accidents. The facility additionally failed to ensure a door to electrical equipment was secured on the 200 Unit."
In one incident, the Nurse's Notes revealed that one resident "roams aimlessly, stands near exit doors and pushes. Goes to unit door and stands in the doorway but does not leave. The resident is redirected out of other residents' room." The resident is in constant "agitation and constantly trying to get out of the facility." The resident "will wander into [other] residents' rooms and stand by the exit doors." The resident "will resist care at times and is hard to redirect." However, the investigator noted that there were "no interventions during that time were put into place to ensure exit seeking behaviors were reduced, prevented or monitored."
If your loved one has been injured or harmed while living at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center, call the South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 now. Our law firm fights aggressively on behalf of Charleston County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Charleston. Our experienced attorneys provide victims of nursing home abuse the legal representation they need against all those who caused them harm. Our law firm can offer many legal options on how to proceed to obtain the financial compensation your family deserves. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to get justice and resolve a monetary compensation claim. Let us fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Our attorneys accept every case concerning wrongful death, personal injury and nursing home abuse through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement postpones making upfront payments for our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your compensation claim through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award. We offer all clients a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee. This guarantee ensures your family will owe us nothing if we cannot obtain compensation to recover your damages. Our lawyers can start on your case today to ensure you receive financial recovery for your damages. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.