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Federal Survey Shows Serious Issues in Texas Nursing Homes

Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins warn nursing home residents in Texas about recent reports which found more nursing home deficiencies in the state than anywhere else in the nation.

The CMS grades nursing homes on a scale from A to L. L is a very poor grade and signifies that the immediate danger to a resident’s safety or health is widespread.

A nursing home in Texas recently got a K rating, which signifies a “pattern” of immediate risk to a resident’s safety or health rather than “widespread”. The home got the second worst possible grade because a resident escaped the home earlier this year. Another observation was that other “at risk” residents were not watched over.

Apparently, the resident was able to escape from the facility after a number of attempts to climb the fence. She managed to get away from her room when she shoved the screen out of the window. She initially stacked items against the fence to climb over it but failed. She went back to her room by climbing through the window, to get more items to stack against the fence. During all of these developments, the cameras were not being watched.

The resident managed to travel a distance of 45 miles all around. She was reportedly sighted at her favorite restaurant and at a dollar store and bank. She was unharmed but was purportedly drinking alcohol after her escape.

The incident was not the first involving a resident who successfully escaped from the facility. Last year, a 71-year-old man, said to be an Alzheimer’s and dementia patient, froze to death after he tried to run away from the nursing home.

New policies make it mandatory for residents with such conditions to constantly be checked by staff and placed on a “high risk” list when necessary. Staff is required to carefully monitor residents on the “high risk” list.

The nursing facility’s new management stated they had spent over $1million to upgrade the home and make it a better place to live in.

The newly appointed administrator of the care home said that new policies were in place to tackle temperature safety. The policies include forbidding residents from being outdoors if temperatures reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit. About 35 cameras figure in the nursing home’s newly adopted security system. The cameras are viewed round-the-clock, 7 days a week.

The issue of nursing homes failing to meet basic requirements was also highlighted in another recent report. A nursing home in Kansas lost its Medicaid and Medicare certification earlier this year, after it was found to be considerably non-compliant with regulatory conditions governing nursing homes.

A 55-year-old resident at this facility said that the quality of care provided was very bad. She stated there was always a minimum of two or three cockroaches in her room at night.

When government officials arrived in February to carry out an annual inspection of the facility, they ended up flagging the nursing home with 21 deficiencies. The deficiencies pertained to health and safety issues. The issues included not providing residents with a clean environment, failing to avert falls as well as the possibility of falls, not developing detailed care plans for many residents, failing to avert the spread of infectious disease, not appropriately monitoring pain and administering pain medication and not keeping the facility free of cockroaches and other pests.

The nursing home was given three chances to correct the deficiencies. While the facility’s staff apparently resolved some of the issues, government records reveal that inspectors flagged fresh deficiencies when they went to the facility in April and June.

When inspectors made their final visit in July, the total number of safety and health deficiencies discovered at the nursing home was still 28. According to Medicare.org, that is four times the national average. In the end, the nursing home received a letter notifying it that federal grants were being withdrawn.

If your loved one suffered neglect at a nursing home anywhere in the United States, contact a nursing home neglect attorney to secure maximum compensation.