legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
The Suites at Rio Vista Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Many families make the inevitable decision to turn over the trust of caring for their loved one to the professional medical staff at a nursing facility. These family members often believe that the nursing home will follow established standards of care and provide the highest level of services to their loved one. Unfortunately, mistreatment is an all too often occurrence that is the result of sufficient staff members, mismanagement, or defective hiring practices where abusive caregivers are employed.
If your loved one is the victim of mistreatment while residing in a Sandoval County nursing facility, the New Mexico Nursing Home Law Center attorneys can help. Our legal team has successfully resolved many compensation cases involving deficient nursing homes throughout the state and can assist your family too. Let us begin working on your case now so we can file a monetary recovery claim for recompense before the state statute of limitations expires. We can ensure that your loved one's rights are protected.The Suites at Rio Vista
This Medicare/Medicaid-participating long-term care (LTC) center is a 136-certified bed "for-profit" home providing services to residents of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County, New Mexico. The facility is located at:
2410 19Th Street, SE
Rio Rancho, New Mexico, 87124
In addition to providing around-the-clock skilled nursing care, The Suites at Rio Vista also offers recovery care, wound care, pulmonary disease care, cardiac care, and post-orthopedic care.Financial Penalties and Violations
The investigators for the state of New Mexico and federal nursing home regulatory agencies have the legal responsibility of penalizing any facility that has violated rules and regulations that harmed or could have harmed a resident. These penalties often include monetary fines and denying payment of Medicare services. Typically, the higher the penalty, the more egregious the problem.
Neither the state nor federal nursing home regulatory agencies have fined The Suites at Rio Vista within the last three years. However, the nursing home was denied a Medicare payment for services rendered on February 1, 2018, and received eleven formally filed complaints. The nursing home also self-reported a serious problem that resulted in a citation. Additional documentation concerning penalties and fines can be located on the New Mexico Department of Health Nursing Home Reporting Website about this nursing facility.
To ensure families are fully informed of the level of care every nursing home provides, the state of New Mexico and Medicare.gov routinely update their LTC home database systems. This information reflects a complete list of health violations, dangerous hazards, safety concerns, incident inquiries, opened investigations, and filed complaints that can be found on numerous sites including NM Department of Public Health.
According to Medicare, this facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including two out of five stars involving health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing issues and three out of five stars for quality measures. The Sandoval County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found serious deficiencies, violations and safety concerns at The Suites at Rio Vista that include:
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from All Forms of Abuse Including Physical, Mental, Sexual Assault, Physical Punishment and Neglect
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 11, 2018, a notation was made by a state surveyor concerning the facility's failure to "ensure that residents were free of neglect." One failure involved a resident who was "transferred to the facility from an acute care facility in the afternoon."
By that evening, "the resident complained of nausea, the resident was later found to be in bed unresponsive and later passing away, less than six hours of being in the facility. It was later discovered that the day shift Registered Nurse (RN) and evening shift RN were not made aware that the resident was in the room."
Another incident involved a resident admitted to the facility "into skilled care for short-term rehabilitation" who subsequently died. The documentation shows that "she was found unresponsive in her room and resuscitation measures were not successful. The resident was oxygen dependent, oxygen was never ordered, and oxygen levels were never assessed. The resident was a diabetic [and] it was more than twenty-four hours after her admission when her blood glucose was assessed for the first time. The resident's nursing assessment was never completed."
A third resident was involved in another incident whose skin "was not assessed for thirty-one days… and he did not receive the appropriate skin integrity interventions which included a low air loss mattress (a mattress that provides alternating pressure and is designed to be used in the prevention, treatment, and management of pressure ulcers)."
The surveyor said that the nursing staff failed to turn and reposition the resident "every two hours. This resulted in [the resident] developing two unstageable] ulcers which were later categorized as Stage IV (full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon or muscle) ulcers when he was hospitalized." The resident "eventually died in the hospital… due to other complications. These deficient practices resulted in Immediate Jeopardy at the scope and severity of Level K."
- Failure to Honor the Resident's Right to Request, Refuse or Discontinue Treatment or Formulate an Advance Directive
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 11, 2018, the state investigative team documented that the nursing home had failed to "ensure that six of forty-four resident's records reviewed for initial or updated Advance Directives were completed." An Advance Directive is a legal document that allows the resident to spell out their decisions concerning their end of life care before their time arrives.
The surveyor said that "this defective practice has the potential to affect residents' fulfillment of their end-of-life medical care choices and could result in unnecessary suffering for the resident and their significant others."
As a part of the investigation, the surveyors interviewed a Licensed Practical Nurse on the morning of April 4, 2018 who stated "if they do not have it (Advanced Directives) we go over it (advance directive information and choices) in detail on admission. All the directives are in the MOST (New Mexico Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment) look here (he indicated that the nurse's desk) if we need to know anything."
The investigative team reviewed a resident's medical records and showed that the resident had been admitted to the facility. However, the resident "had no code status found in the electronic health record on the banner (the facility practices to note the resident code status on the top of the page that opens first when the electronic health record for that resident is accessed."
The investigators documented that "no doctor's orders regarding code status were found, no discussions of advance directive education or planning were found to be documented in the nursing progress notes or on the MOST document." Additionally, numerous medical records for different residents were missing advance directives, some were undated, and some were unsigned and not dated.
- Failure to Timely Report Suspected Abuse, Neglect and Report the Results of the Investigation to Proper Authorities
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 11, 2018, the state investigator noted the facility's failure to "ensure that injuries of unknown [origin] resulting in serious bodily harm to residents were reported to the State Licensing Authority within two hours." The deficient practice involved two residents "reviewed for injuries of unknown origin." The surveyor said that "If the facility fails to report injuries of unknown origin [promptly] to the State Licensing Authority, corrective measures may not be acted on, and the facility is unable to assure residents are from abuse or neglect."
The investigative team reviewed medical records including the Incident Report dated March 12, 2018, that stated that a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) reported to a nurse that the resident "was lying on his left hip in the bathroom complaining of pain. The nursing description stated that [the resident's] left hip was one-half times the size of his right hip. It also stated that the resident was not moved and 911 was called." The facility's five-day follow up investigation stated that the resident "obtained a pelvic fracture as a result of the fall on March 12, 2018."
However, the initial report by the facility to the State Licensing Authority "revealed that it was reported on March 13, 2018, at 7:45 AM." The facility's five-day follow up investigation revealed the resident "was found sitting on the floor in her room at 6:00 AM. It stated [that the resident] sustained a laceration to the back of her head and had complaints of pain to her right hip." The report showed that the medical condition was discovered in the emergency room.
The investigators interviewed the facility Administrator on the afternoon of April 9, 2018, who "verified [that the resident's] incident should have been reported within two hours and it was not. The Administrator stated that [the resident's] incident was not reported within two hours because the staff was not aware he sustained a fracture until he was evaluated at the hospital."
- Failure to Ensure Residents Receive Proper Treatment to Prevent New Bedsores or Heal Existing Pressure Sores
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 11, 2018, the state surveyors noted that the facility had failed to "provide the necessary treatment and services to prevent the development of pressure ulcers for residents whose clinical conditions demonstrates they were avoidable. This deficient practice resulted in Immediate Jeopardy at the scope and severity of Level J."
In response to the Immediate Jeopardy, the facility took corrective action that included hiring a wound care nurse and completing skin sweeps. The facility also developed a plan to reinitiate the completion of internal pressure and non-pressure wound tracking and in-servicing Licensed Nursing Staff "on responsibilities and roles regarding being proactive in the prevention of wounds… including repositioning, showers, peri-care, and weekly skin checks.
- Failure to Provide Sufficient Staff Members Every Day to Meet the Needs of Every Resident
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 11, 2018, the state investigative team documented the facility's failure to "ensure there was sufficient nursing staff that has the appropriate competencies and skills set." The nursing home had failed to ensure that "nursing staff were documenting, admitting and assessing residents on the units [promptly]."
The investigators documented that to residents "had passed away at the facility within minutes of each other, each requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) back-to-back." One resident "had been in the facility for a couple of days, and had passed away unexpectedly."
The other resident "had been admitted to the facility that afternoon at 3:00 PM, and by 8:30 PM, was being resuscitated and thus passing away. The 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM nurse and the 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM nurse following the day nurse, were not aware that the resident was in the facility and in the room."
A third resident "was brought to the hospital by ambulance from [the facility after developing] septic shock (an infection in the bloodstream) requiring (intravenous medications to raise the blood pressure) and transferred to the intensive care unit. He did stabilize it was transferred out of the ICU." However, the resident's "respiratory status declined again requiring Bi-PAP (a respiratory device to assist in breathing). Hospital records indicate that [the resident] died [and the cause of death was documented as] acute hypoxic, septic shock and urinary tract infection."
If you suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected while living at The Suites at Rio Vista, act quickly by calling the New Mexico nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 to stop the mistreatment now. Our network of attorneys fights aggressively on behalf of Sandoval County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Rio Rancho.
Our knowledgeable attorneys can offer legal assistance on your behalf to ensure your case for financial compensation is successfully resolved against every party that caused your loved one harm. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim. We can begin working on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Our lawyers accept all cases involving wrongful death, nursing home neglect, or personal injury through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement will postpone your need to make a payment for our legal services until after your case is successfully resolved through a negotiated out of court settlement or jury trial award. Our network of attorneys provides every client a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to obtain compensation on your behalf, you owe our legal team nothing. Let our team begin working on your case today to ensure you receive adequate compensation. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.