Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

Nursing home fined, another closed, patients transfered to lowest rated facitity

Kaleida Health will be paying a $500,000 penalty in a case brought by the New York State Attorney General’s office for care provided at its HighPointe facility in Buffalo. The settlement involved two matters; one where a patient died while choking on liquefied food. The allegation was that none of the nursing home staff was properly watching a toddler while being fed liquefied food through a feeding tube. The incident was after the New York State Department of Health had already fined HighPointe $16,000, after extensive review, and determination that staff failed to properly monitor the child.

In a separate matter, the Attorney General’s office evaluated the evidence regarding the man suffering from a neurological impairment, after his wife raised questions about lack of treatment. The patient ultimately died. “Kaleida Health put residents of Highpointe at risk, which is why we fought for corrective actions and restitution” according to Attorney General, Letitia James.

Under the terms of the settlement Kaleida and the nursing home, HighPointe did not “admit or deny” liability, however, the terms of the settlement included the nursing home hiring more staff and providing greater accountability. HighPointe’s rating at the time was two stars (out of five), “below average” based upon review by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. Sometimes family needs the advice of a nursing home injury attorney, because many serious incidents of neglect or patient abuse would otherwise go unreported.

Unfortunately, there are too many low rated nursing homes providing inadequate and dangerous care in Western New York. Recently, Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Orchard Park closed. The facility had consistently received the lowest score given by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services.  The facility was rated one star (out of five), indicating Absolut at Orchard Park’s level of care to residents was far below average.  The rating system takes into consideration: whether a facility has adequate staffing by properly trained healthcare providers, the results of its health inspections, and the quality of care that is provided by the facility. The ability to talk to a nursing home abuse attorney to have a situation evaluated and possibly corrected is an important right to protect our loved ones. The state does not have sufficient means to inspect and determine many, many violations or particular abuse or neglect of seniors in private nursing homes.

Absolut at Orchard Park was named to a list of the nation’s worst nursing homes.  It has received 16 health citations during its last three surveys.  This is far above the New York State average of 5 health citations.

Unfortunately, when closing Absolut at Orchard Park, the out-of-town owner arranged to transfer approximately 55 patients to another one of its low performing facilities, Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Aurora Park. This is one of the largest nursing homes in the region, with approximately 320 beds.  It is also rated one star for performance by the federal government, the lowest rating possible. If you have questions about the care your mother, father or loved one is receiving in a facility or nursing home, you should contact a nursing home attorney, familiar with nursing home care and protocols so you can be properly advised as to how to proceed.

Nursing home abuse, and neglect, and unnecessary injury and harm to our loved ones occurs far too often in Buffalo and Western New York. Nursing home abuse attorneys too often see similar fact patterns of neglect and lack of proper care, dehydration, and bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, which are preventable if the nursing home follows well-established protocols and guidelines. Improper staffing or lack of necessary care can also cause injury to our seniors.

Often, in nursing home injury and neglect cases, family members and loved ones tried to be vigilant in seeing that proper care is provided, however, they cannot be at the nursing home or facility all the time. They frequently find bad conditions, and try to bring them up with nursing home administration, only to become frustrated because they feel the administration does not listen or properly respond to their reasonable requests.

There were sixteen Western New York nursing homes on the recent worst nursing homes list, including Absolut at Orchard Park’s sister-facility in East Aurora. Both are facilities in Erie County, New York. The Long Term Care Community Coalition evaluated the level of care provided by nursing homes across the country.  Its goal is to inform the public about substandard care, abuse, and neglect within the nursing homes that families rely upon to care for their loved ones. Despite consistently dismal ratings and numerous citations, Absolut claimed, “supply exceeds demand” as the reason for closing its doors.

Many families are faced with having to entrust nursing homes with their loved ones health and safety. Before doing so, it is best to compare the nursing homes in your area, to see which facilities provide the best, and worst, care.  You can do this at the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website.  The link is provided here. https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

 

If you suspect your mother or father, aunt or uncle, or loved one is not receiving minimum proper care you should talk to a nursing home attorney. If you are concerned your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you can reach out to a qualified nursing home lawyer.  The Buffalo nursing home attorneys at Feroleto Law always welcome your call and will provide a free evaluation of your case. Feel free to call 716-854-0700 for a free confidential consultation.