A Tennessee nursing home was sanctioned by the state's Department of Health on June 4 after a follow-up survey conducted in May found that little had been done to improve the standard of medical care provided by the facility. Concerns about the safety of residents has led to the nursing home being fined $3,000 and barred from admitting new patients. A representative of the nursing home said that changes were being made, but the agency decided that a special monitor was called for to keep track of these efforts.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, reports of nursing negligence at the facility began to be reported in December 2014. The reports indicate that nursing home employees failed to follow physicians' orders regarding the care of residents with breathing difficulties. The condition of one of the facility's residents became so poor that he was transported to hospital to have a tube placed in his trachea.
The nursing home, which has 124 licensed beds, has received a very poor overall rating of one star from Medicare. The facility did not immediately respond to the sanctions, but the nursing home could request a hearing before an administrative judge or the Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities to ask for the suspension to be lifted.
The elderly residents of long-term care facilities are extremely vulnerable to abuse and negligence. State regulatory agencies do what they can, but they have limited resources and action is sometimes only taken after a resident suffers a serious injury. An attorney with medical malpractice experience could advocate on behalf of nursing home residents or their families when the standard of care provided is inadequate and results in an injury.