Drug diversion is a big problem in the nursing home industry. WYFF.com reported that White Oak Estates has a big problem. Police arrested and charged Erica Danielle Gilbert Nichols, one of their caregivers, with five counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, neglect of vulnerable adults, five counts of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and five counts of theft of a controlled substance.
White Oak Estates Assisted Living facility is owned and operated by White Oak Management, part of the for-profit nursing home chain, White Oak Manor, Inc. Nichols worked for White Oak at 400 Webber Road, Spartanburg, S.C. Nichols allegedly stole controlled substances that were prescribed for the vulnerable adults under her care at the facility.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will prosecute. They have jurisdiction under patient abuse statutes. He should prosecute more nursing homes for patient abuse and neglect.
DHEC already investigated the incidents. Investigators discovered that Nichols neglected and exploited vulnerable adults. She failed to administer prescribed medications. She unlawfully used medications prescribed to patients under her care. This comes with short-staffing. Short-staffing leads to burn-out, frustration, and addiction.