Syracuse Nursing Home Faces Federal Sanctions for Substandard Care

Rosewood Heights, a 242 bed nursing home in Syracuse, New York was recently cited for 26 violations relating to patient care and safety standards. According to the December 2012 inspection report, which was recently published on the New York Health Department’s website, three of the violations were classified as “immediate jeopardy,” which is the most serious type of infraction. Additionally, 12 of the citations were for recurring issues. As a result, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) fined the facility $10,000 due to the infractions. (The state Health Department inspects nursing homes on behalf of CMS.)

Because the facility has been repeatedly cited for serious violations and persistent poor quality for more than three years, it was put on the CMS’s Special Focus Facility list in March 2012. Fewer than 1% of the nation’s nursing homes are on this list. Rosewood was informed that it had 18 to 24 months to improve the violations, or else face the potential loss of federal funding. Unfortunately, the latest inspection did not reflect improved conditions.

According to the report, among the most serious problems identified were several safety lapses related to feeding. Although luckily no one was injured or died as a result, there were pervasive lapses of supervision over patients with physiological feeding restrictions.

The most serious lapses included:

  • A woman who had suffered from dementia, and had also suffered from a stroke, was on a strictly liquid diet. An inspector found the resident being fed two chicken patty sandwiches by friends. Relatives also regularly fed the woman solid foods which were not within her dietary restrictions.
  • A resident who was posed with the risk of choking if he did not sit upright at meals was witnessed being fed lunch by a nurse while lying flat in bed.
  • A patient who had doctor’s orders to have meat and other large pieces of food pre-cut by staff was served whole hot dogs in his room, and left to eat without any supervision

The report cited the facility for failure to properly train staff and adequately supervise residents. According to the report, the home provided “substandard” care to a total of eight residents.

Additional violations included:

  • Failure of staff to wash hands, and in some cases not wearing gloves to feed residents.
  • Serving residents food that was not the proper temperature
  • Dirty floors in some resident rooms

The violations that this nursing home was cited for are an upsetting reality for many patients and residents in these types of facilities. In fact, some elderly residents even face blatant physical or other abuse, if not neglect or lack of adequate medical care. In Maryland, nursing homes are monitored by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Nursing homes are governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations, a set of strict regulations that all of the licensed nursing homes in the state must abide by.

If you have an elderly friend or relative who is living in a nursing home or assisted living facility within the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas, and believe that s/he may be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen immediately. We can help determine whether your friend or loved one might have a case against the facility. We have many years of experience helping people in Maryland obtain compensation for injuries and wrongful death cases, caused by nursing home abuse or neglect. Call us today at (800) 654-1949 in order to schedule your complimentary and confidential initial consultation. You can also contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Three Connecticut Nursing Homes Face Fines for Negligent Care, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 9, 2013
Estate Sues, Claims Nursing Home’s Negligence Led to Wrongful Death, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 27, 2013

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