Nursing Home Closes After Years of Ongoing Problems

A Rhode Island nursing home has voluntarily closed after several years of complaints and investigations over non-compliance with both state and federal standards of care. Faced with the revocation of its license, the facility’s management concluded that it would take longer to complete the required improvements to bring the facility into full compliance than was available. The facility has therefore closed, and the state is assisting in moving residents to new facilities.

Complaints against Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center in Warwick, Rhode Island go back at least five years, according to local news station WJAR. Rhode Island’s Secretary of Health and Human Services said that the facility has a “long history of noncompliance” and of not maintaining appropriate standards of care for a nursing home. Neglect topped the list of complaints, which have included allegations of poor maintenance and management of residents’ medications, medication errors, bedsores and other injuries, and other quality of life issues. The state has reportedly cited the nursing home “repeatedly” over the past three years.

State officials cited the facility on February 24, saying the nursing home patients were in “immediate jeopardy.” On March 13, the state notified the nursing home that it would pursue action to revoke the facility’s license. The state also recommended to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that it should cut off the facility’s participation in both the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

The nursing home’s administration reportedly retained a third-party management company to take over operation of the facility and try to turn it around. It was apparently not enough. CMS suspended the facility from its programs, and the state pressed forward on its license revocation action. The nursing home had a right under state law to a hearing on the revocation. On April 10, nursing home administrators announced that they would close the facility, saying that the home’s compliance problems could not be fixed on the state’s timetable.

The 131-bed facility had seventy-eight residents at the time. The state agreed to assist in relocating the residents to other facilities. Nursing home administrators had until Friday, April 13 to present a closure plan to state regulators. They indicated that fully implementing closure of the site could take weeks or months.

Nursing homes bear a tremendous responsibility for the care of elderly and disabled residents, often with responsibility for all of a resident’s daily care. The law therefore imposes a high duty of care, and a high degree of liability, with regard to nursing home abuse and neglect. Maryland’s Long-Term Care Unit, part of the state’s Office of Health Care Quality, serves as a regulator to enforce state laws and standards, and to protect residents’ safety and quality of life.

Nursing homes have a duty to provide diligent care and a safe environment for their residents, and people injured when they breach this duty may be entitled to damages. The Maryland nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen help obtain compensation for people injured due to abuse or neglect by nursing home staff. Contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949 for a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Owner of Nursing Home Charged with Neglect for Second Time in Eight Years, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 20, 2012
Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Increase Criminal Penalties for Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 16, 2012
Maryland Nursing Home Staffer Pleads Guilty to Abuse of a Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, February 14, 2012

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