Nursing Home Management Company to Pay $740K to Vermont Over Neglect Allegations
Last week, Vermont’s attorney general announced a massive financial settlement with Genesis Healthcare over claims of neglect at three of the long-term care facilities Genesis manages.
Under the terms of the settlement, the nursing home management company will pay $740,143 to settle allegations of neglect connected to severe injuries and one death suffered at these three facilities in 2018 and 2019.
Genesis Healthcare denied any violations of state law at these facilities, claiming it agreed to a settlement to avoid the “delay, expense, inconvenience and uncertainty” of going to court.
The settlement also requires Genesis to create a patient care coordinator position. The person hired for this position would train staff at these three facilities and provide progress reports to the state. The settlement also says Genesis will hire an independent monitor to do an annual review of all three nursing homes.
Incidents at Nursing Homes
Two of the incidents that led to the settlement were the result of staffing problems. Short-term staff members at two of the facilities, Burlington Health & Rehab Center and St. Johnsbury Health & Rehab, gave the wrong food to residents on special diets, causing them to choke. The Burlington resident eventually died while the resident of the other facility needed to be hospitalized.
Berlin Health & Rehab Center was also cited for failing to do proper wound assessments of two ulcers on a resident’s leg. The resident later needed to be hospitalized.
There was another incident at Burlington Health & Rehab Center where a resident was improperly discharged. He had lower-body paralysis after months of not treating his emotional issues and alcohol addiction.
Even though the staff member who discharged the resident knew this person could not get into bed, use the toilet, or get to food, drink or medications without assistance, the staff member booked a one-night stay for the resident at a nearby hotel and left. The resident’s family was not notified about the discharge until the next day. The police found the resident at a hospital covered in feces with a fever and acute kidney infection.
These three nursing home facilities are among the lowest rated in Vermont, under the Nursing Home Compare System created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
On average, nursing homes in Vermont have 3.2 stars under this rating system. However, St. Johnsbury and Berlin have one out of five. Burlington has two stars.
Genesis Healthcare in Vermont
This company is based in Pennsylvania and operates 425 facilities in 29 states, according to reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018. This includes nine nursing homes in Vermont, which is a quarter of the registered nursing homes in the state.
Genesis has paid out settlements before over problems at their nursing homes. Genesis agreed to a $53.7 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over claims of false billing practices.
Genesis has also paid $131,687 in regulatory fines for problems at all nine of its nursing homes in Vermont.
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