Thursday, January 26, 2012

Attorney General's office reviewing citation against nursing home

A state citation against a central Kentucky nursing home is being reviewed by the Kentucky Attorney General's office. The citation stems from how staff at Charleston Health Care Center in Danville responded to allegations that a male nurse's aide was mistreating patients, according to the Lexington Herald Leader, which obtained the citation through an open records request (
It says abuse allegations weren't immediately reported to administrative staff, weren't thoroughly investigated and weren't reported to all the appropriate state agencies.
Nursing home attorney Lisa Hinkle says the facility is appealing the citation and challenges the factual findings of the Office of Inspector General. She says no allegations of elder abuse have been substantiated and the home has "provided quality nursing-facility care to its residents for a very long time."
The type of citation issued means that a resident's life or safety was put in danger. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services sends all such citations to the Attorney General's office, which decides whether it should be referred to local prosecutors.
According to the citation and other documents, a resident who was admitted in 2010 with a head injury and schizophrenia accused the aide in July of abuse. The citation says the resident told nursing home staff that the aide "placed a pillow over the resident's face in an attempt to suffocate the resident, and then hit the resident four times, twice on each side of the head."
The nursing home's written response to the state says the allegation appeared to be untrue because of the "resident's mental status and frequent statements that did not reflect reality."
An administrator also told investigators that the resident recanted, according to state documents.
However, a certified medical assistant told investigators that the resident had a small facial bruise that wasn't there before the allegations were made, documents said.
She says no allegations of abuse have been substantiated and the home has "provided quality nursing-facility care to its residents for a very long time."
In addition to those allegations, the citation says investigators interviewed six staff members who accused the aide of behaving inappropriately with residents from February through August. The citation says staff witnessed the aide being "physically, mentally, and verbally rough with residents" and saw him kiss them.
One of the witnesses was the home's human resources director, who told investigators that she had counseled the aide and informed the director of nursing, state documents said.
But according to the citation, "there was no evidence these allegations had been investigated and reported by the facility. In addition, there was no evidence the facility protected residents from further potential abuse."
Ky. Attorney General's office reviewing citation against Danville nursing home The Republic

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Minnesota allows elder care jobs to former criminals

During the past six years, Minnesota has granted more than 15,000 waivers to people with criminal records seeking employment in nursing homes and other state-regulated care programs, state records show.
Under state law, people are automatically rejected for those jobs if background checks reveal they have committed any crime on a list of disqualifying offenses. But through a little-publicized appeals process allowed under the law, former criminals who request a second chance usually get their wish.
The most forgiving state agency among the two that grant waivers is the Health Department, which approved 75 percent of 10,000-plus appeals with little public scrutiny, records show.
More than 5,000 waivers went to people who wanted to work in nursing homes or home care agencies. Those applicants were convicted of misdemeanors to felonies, including assault, fraud, false imprisonment, forgery, robbery, theft and making terroristic threats, as well as drug and alcohol offenses, records show.
State regulators said they don't know how many of those ex-criminals actually went to work in nursing homes and other facilities because they don't track that information. They also don't follow how many of those individuals subsequently harmed their vulnerable clients or committed additional crimes
State OKs care jobs for former criminals
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