Two Wisconsin Nursing Homes Ranked Among U.S. Worst

Why These Two Wisconsin Nursing Homes Now Rank Among Worst in U.S.

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on May 9, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on May 11, 2023

nurse holding hand of patient in hospital bedAt PKSD, we have learned about two more Wisconsin nursing homes that currently rank among the worst-performing long-term care facilities in the U.S. Our firm is deeply committed to keeping you informed about nursing homes that fail to provide the level of care your elderly loved ones deserve.

If you have a loved one who suffered an injury due to neglect in his or her nursing home. We are prepared to help. We have decades of experience helping injured nursing home victims and have a proven history of success.

Not sure if you have a case? Reach out to our law firm anytime, night or day. You can request a FREE Case Review and discuss your situation with one of our knowledgeable nursing home attorneys in Wisconsin.

Pine View Care Center, Black River Falls

This nursing home care center in Black River Falls, Wisconsin has been dubbed one of the worst-performing facilities in the country. It has also been enrolled in the federal government’s Special Focus Facility program for over three years, beginning in February 2020. Even before receiving that distinction, however, Pine View already had a long history of issues. This facility had been on a waiting list, along with other poor-performing Wisconsin nursing homes, for some time.

Pine View – Recent Issues Added to a Long History of Problems

Some current issues brought to light in a report include an incident involving a 79-year-old resident living at the facility. This elderly woman had a prior history of trying to leave the facility. Despite having this prior history and being a high wandering risk, however, the facility took no additional precautions to protect her.

One summer August night, this elderly woman was able to escape the facility, wandering fully off site. Fortunately she was found by a concerned citizen about an hour and a half later in the middle of a road near the property. The woman was able to get the resident into her car. She dropped the resident off at a sheriff’s office nearby.

As commendable as the actions of that citizen are, it is important to recognize that the situation could have turned out much differently. For instance, the escaped resident could have been hit by a car. Away from the facility, she also could have been picked up and physically harmed by another party.

Additionally, this incident was not the first time this same resident tried to escape the facility. From May to July of 2022, she tried to leave Pine View over 100 times. In August, this same resident had attempted to leave the facility every single day of the month before finally being successful.

Pine View also gained unwanted attention following allegations of sexual assault at the facility. Despite being involved in the SFF program, which includes submitting a correction plan to CMS, Pine View still struggles to overcome serious issues. It has come close to losing its license and federal funding (Medicaid) on multiple occasions.

Allis Care, West Allis

Another Wisconsin facility added to the federal government’s worst-ranked list is Allis Care in West Allis. This nursing home has been in the program since 2021, cited for many recurring issues, including:

  • Ongoing instances of medication errors, including one incident that contributed to a resident suffering serious harm.
  • Failure to answer or respond to active call lights, which is an indication that a resident needs immediate help.
  • Peeling paint in the facility
  • And more

Despite being on this program for 22 months, the facility has continued to have medication errors and other serious issues.

In March 2021, one resident at the facility was observed by staff coughing up blood. This resident was also regularly taking an anticoagulant, a drug that greatly increases the risk for bleeding. Despite this risk and this episode of coughing up blood, staff did not notify the resident’s doctor or anyone else at the facility. Later, the resident was taken to the hospital for “uncontrollable” bleeding, according to an inspection report. This incident resulted in Allis being issued a citation for “immediate jeopardy.”  This type of citation is only assessed when a resident’s life is deemed to be in immediate danger.

Allis Care, like other long-term care facilities in the SFF program, must submit a correction plan to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS oversees the SFF program and also determines which nursing homes receive Medicaid funding.

Reasons Facilities End Up on the SFF List

It is important to recognize that nursing homes are not selected for the SFF program for minor reasons. Most nursing homes have some issues. For a facility to be added to the SFF list, it typically has:

  • About twice as many deficiencies as other nursing homes
  • More serious types of problems – such as those involving serious physical and emotional harm
  • A pattern of these types of issues occurring and reoccurring over a long time – about three years

Some facilities may rebound and improve for a while, but many bounce back into the same types of recurring issues. Take, for example, the ongoing and recurring problem of medication errors at Allis Care. Medication errors are taken very seriously as they can cause severe or even fatal harm to a resident.

How Do Special Focus Facilities Get Off the List?

To get off the list, a poorly-ranked facility must first graduate from the SFF program. This step involves receiving two consecutive standard health surveys with low-level deficiencies, and there must not be more than 12 infractions cited. If there are any severe violations found, the facility is automatically disqualified from graduating from the program or getting off the list.

Does the SFF Really Help Facilities Improve?

Even when nursing homes on the SFF improve, they may often bounce back into a prior pattern of serious infractions. These types of deficiencies pose a real and immediate safety risk to residents. Facilities on the SFF list receive state inspections to monitor progress every six months. Facilities must also submit correction plans to the CMS.

If problems persist at a Special Focus facility then CMS, which regulates Medicare and Medicaid funding, may issue increasingly higher citations and other monetary penalties. They can also terminate Medicaid funding and terminate a facility from the program. CMS is also currently establishing a set of criteria for terminating a facility’s ability to receive further Medicare or Medicaid funding.

Need Legal Help for a Victim of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?

PKSD is deeply committed to protecting elderly residents in Wisconsin nursing homes. We also accept cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in Iowa and New Mexico.

If you suspect your loved one was harmed due to neglect or abuse at a nursing home or by a caregiver, we may be able to help.

Call today, 24/7, to get answers to your legal questions. Our highly trained and experienced nursing home abuse legal team has recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

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