legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Westminster Village Health (SFF) Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
To ensure the public remains fully aware of the care that every nursing facility provides in Delaware, both state and federal regulatory agencies conduct routine surveys at every nursing facility statewide. When surveyors working for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) identify serious deficiencies and violations, the nursing home is required to make corrections promptly. Any failure to improve the level of care the nursing home provides or failure to revise their policies and procedures could result in financial penalties and cause the residents health consequences.
In some cases, the state and federal nursing home regulators will designate the nursing home a Special Focus Facility (SFF) after identifying egregious deficiencies. Additionally, the facility is added to the national Medicare watch list and must undergo additional unannounced surveys and investigations into filed formal complaints.
In 2017, both the State of Delaware and Medicare regulators designated Westminster Village Health a Special Focus Facility and added the nursing home to the watch list. In the months and years ahead, the Health Center will need to prove to surveyors and investigators that any improvements and positive changes made at the facility that improve the resident’s quality of life are permanent. Some violations and deficiencies involving this facility are listed below.
Westminster Village Health
This Long-Term Care Center is a ‘for profit’ 67-certified-bed Home providing cares to residents of Dover and Kent County, Delaware. The Facility is located at:
1175 McKee Road
Dover, DE 19904
In addition to providing skilled nursing care, the facility also offers Comfort Care, End of Life care, rehabilitation services and memory support.
Over $235,000 in Monetary Penalties
The state of Delaware and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have the authority to levy monetary fines against any nursing home in the state with serious violations. These penalties are meant to alert the facility that changes must be made promptly to ensure the health and well-being of every resident are maintained.
Over the last three years, Westminster Village Health received a $239,168 fine on August 26, 2016. Additionally, there were seven formally filed complaints that resulted in citations investigated within the same time frame.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
Families can visit the Medicare.gov website to obtain a complete list of all dangerous hazards, safety concerns, health violations, incident inquiries, opened investigations, and filed complaints in nursing homes nationwide. The regularly updated information can be used to make a well-informed decision on which long-term care facilities in the community provide the highest level of care.
Currently, Westminster Village Health maintains an overall two out of five stars compared to all nursing homes in the United States. This ranking includes one out of five stars for health inspections, five out of five stars for staffing issues, and three stars for quality measures. Some serious concerns, egregious violations, and notable deficiencies are listed below.
- Failed to Provide Effective Medication to Manage the Resident’s Severe to Mild Pain
- “The resident had pain without evidence of intervention: Moderate pain – June 8, 11, 13, 19, August 7 and 14. Severe pain – July 10.”
- “The resident did not receive timely p.r.n. [as needed] medication for severe pain: August 9, 2016 – pain assessment at 9:25 AM, medicated at 10:07 AM.”
- “Instances when effective of p.r.n. [as needed] pain medication was not totally effective and no evidence of additional interventions or that the physician was informed: August 12, 2016 – medicated at 1:21 PM, somewhat effective at 2:16 PM.”
- “August 15, 2016 – medicated at 10:02 AM, somewhat effective at 12:27 PM.”
- “Resident not reassessed timely after p.r.n. [as needed] pain medication: August 5, 2016 – medicated at 9:35 AM (moderate), reassessed at 1:21 PM; August 9, 2016, medicated at 10:07 AM (severe pain), reassessed at 12:54 PM.”
- Failure to Ensure Residents Receive Proper Treatment to Prevent the Development of a Bedsore or Allow an Existing Bedsore to Heal
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident’s Drug Regimen Is Free from Unnecessary Medications
- Failure to Develop, Implement and Enforce a Program That Investigates, Controls and Keeps Infection from Spreading
- Failure to Report and Investigate Acts or Allegations of Abuse, Neglect, and Mistreatment
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident Receives a Nutritional of Well-Balanced Diet Unless It Is Not Possible
- Failure to Ensure the Doctor Sees a Resident’s Plan of Care at Every Visit and Makes Notes about Progress and Orders in Writing
- Failure to Allow the Resident’s the Right to Choose Their Activities and Schedules
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 26, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to provide the necessary care and services to manage pain for [a resident].” The state investigator reviewed the resident’s Clinical Record that revealed physician’s orders related to pain management including providing Tylenol every four hours to treat mild pain. Additionally, there was a physician’s order to apply topical Aspercream “to the affected knee area every eight hours p.r.n. [as needed] for pain.”
Additional pain medications including Tylenol suppositories were prescribed to treat moderate pain and breakthrough pain. However, upon review of the resident’s Pain Assessment and Electronic Medication Administration Records from June through August 2016 (every shift) it was revealed that:
The state investigator interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing to review “the specific dates when [the resident’s] pain was not managed.” The Director stated “she would look into it and let the surveyor know if she found any information. No information was received by exit from the facility.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 26, 2016, the state surveyor noted that the facility had failed to “ensure residents did not develop avoidable pressure ulcers.” This deficiency involved three resident’s the facility “who were at high risk for pressure ulcer development.” It was also noted the facility had “failed to initiate pressure reducing pressure relieving approaches to be consistently followed by staff.”
The deficiency for one resident “resulted in the development of a Stage II pressure ulcer that advanced one unstageable pressure ulcer.” For another resident the deficiency “resulted in the development of two suspected deep tissue injury pressure ulcers.” For a third resident, the deficiency “resulted in the development of two Stage I, one Stage II and of deep tissue injury pressure ulcers. It was determined that the facility failed to ensure one [resident] received the care and services [needed] to promote healing and prevent infections related to pressure ulcer dressing change.”
The state investigator interviewed the facility’s Director Nursing on the morning August 24, 2016, who “was informed of the wound treatment observations.” The Director that “stated this observed practice did not conform to the expected wound care practice.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 26, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure to “reassess [one resident] for the effectiveness of a p.r.n. [as needed] medication for anxiety and failed to intervene when the anxiety medication was found not to be effective.” A review of the resident’s Care Plan revealed that the resident was taking medication because of anxious mood/agitation related to yelling out frequently…”
Upon review of the resident’s medical records, the surveyor determined that the anxiety medication was not effective. The surveyor interviewed the facility’s Director Nursing on the morning date 24 2016 to review specific dates “when the resident’s anxiety/agitation was not managed.” The Director stated that “she would look into it and let the surveyor know if she found any information. No additional information was received from the facility at the time of exit.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 26, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility had failed to “handle linens and laundry in a manner to prevent the spread of infections. The area for washing, drying and folding laundry lacked proper ventilation.” The surveyor noted upon the observation that “the two laundry rooms did not have proper ventilation.” In each room, there was a positive airflow and negative airflow. The surveyor documented that “the venting system did not provide proper care flow and ventilation.”
The facility was reminded that “to prevent the spread of infection, the room used for sorting washing must be hundred negative pressure, the room used for drying and folding must be under positive pressure.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 9, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “properly identify and report financial explication to the Division of Long Turn Resident’s Protection for [one resident].” An interview with the resident around noon on June 1, 2017, the resident was asked: “does the facility let you know how much money you have in your account?” The resident responded, “No.” The resident “explained that he began allowing the facility to manage his funds in December 2016.”
The state investigator interviewed the facility’s Staff member in charge of finance regarding the resident’s personal funds. Documentation revealed that the resident “received Medicaid benefits and after $50 was removed from [their] monthly Social Security check for resident personal use, the balance of the check was the amount designated as patient pay for the nursing facility.” The finance staff member stated that the resident “had an outstanding balance of around $8000 since the patient payment was not received for many months before the facility took over managing [the resident’s] funds.”
The document reveals that the resident’s mother had been accepting the resident’s check and making payments to cover the resident’s bills until she became ill. At that point, the resident’s brother took over and had used some of the funds for personal business payments.
The surveyor determined that the facility had failed to “properly identify non-receipt of [the resident’s] patient pay for seven months which permitted the financial exploitation to continue.” The facility also failed to “report [the resident’s] financial exploitation to the State Agency [and failed to] file their policy by not completing an Incident Report about the issue.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 24, 2015, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “ensure that the resident received a therapeutic diet.” This deficiency resulted in the resident being provided “with the drink that was not properly thickened.”
An observation was made of the resident on the afternoon of September 22, 2015, while the resident had “a blue cup in his hand and was coughing. The cup was about one third filled with a clear liquid that did not look thickened.” The surveyor notified a Registered Nurse (RN) to ensure they were “aware of the incident.” The resident “was then offered another cup containing a thickened liquid and began drinking without coughing.”
A few minutes later, the Registered Nurse told the surveyor that “a Licensed Practical Nurse provided [the resident] with the water and had added some thickener, but it must not have been enough.” The Register Nurse said that the LPN “was re-educated on using the thickening agent.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 9, 2017, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to ensure the physician signed orders for the prescribed care.” The investigation involved a review of a resident’s clinical record that revealed the resident “was admitted to the facility [and although] there were physician’s orders in the Electronic Medical Record, there were no physician signed admission orders.”
Additionally, a review of the records for April 2017 and May 2017 revealed that there were “no signed an unsigned physician’s orders available and the clinical record, only orders entered into the Electronic Medical Record by nursing.” On the morning of June 19, 2017, the surveyor interviewed the facility Assistant Director of Nursing who revealed that “physician’s orders for admission, readmission, April 2017 and May 2017 could not be located. It was confirmed that the facility was not using electronic signature and that the resident was signing the orders on paper. No further explanation for the missing physician’s orders was offered.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 24, 2015, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to ensure for [two residents’] shower preferences were assessed, and scheduled showers were carried out.” The surveyor interviewed the resident on the afternoon of September 17, 2015, and asked, “do you choose how many times a week to take a bath or shower?” The resident responded, “No, I don’t, as is alleged and I’ve had only one [shower] and nine days since I’ve been here and that was to stay in every other day would be nice.”
The surveyor interviewed a second resident who was asked: “do you choose only times a week you take a bath or shower?” The second resident responded “the showers or twice a week, and the resident indicated the desire to have three showers a week. The resident had not informed the facility of their desire to increase shower frequency.” However, the resident stated that “I have not had a shower in three weeks.”
The surveyor informed the Registered Nurse Supervisor of the resident’s desire “for three showers a week” and that “between July 1, 2015, and September 22, 2015, [the resident] had one shower and was washed up once.” The surveyor determined that the facility had “failed to ensure [the resident] the right to receive his showers as scheduled.”
Need a Lawyer to File a Compensation Claim?
If you have any suspicions that your loved one, as a patient in Westminster Village Health, has been abused, neglected or mistreated, take steps now by hiring a personal injury attorney. With an attorney on your site, you can file a compensation claim against the facility to ensure your family is adequately compensated for your loved one's harm.
Contact us today! You won’t need to make any upfront payment for legal services because personal injury law firms accept all nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement means the fees are paid only after your lawyers have successfully resolved your claim for compensation by negotiating an acceptable out of court settlement or winning your case at trial.