Negligent Background Check
Nursing home administrations and human resources must remain vigilant on background checks for prospective staff even amid record turnover. A jury may find facilities liable for failing to secure their premises or perform a proper background check. Best practice require facilities require certain documents such as vaccination records, driver’s licenses, relevant Board certifications or hospital privileges. A document verification team should routinely reviews and verifies the documents.
South Carolina Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) arrested Alyssa Beth Steele for allegedly practicing as a registered nurse without a license. Steele allegedly practiced without a license at seven nursing and assisted living facilities. Steele allegedly used a State of Georgia Board of Nursing license number belonging to someone else to gain employment as a registered nurse in the seven facilities between Jan. 15, 2020, and Jan. 19, 2022. The AG’s office said:
“By holding herself out as having credentials she did not possess, Steele’s conduct resulted in a failure to provide adequate medical care and services to vulnerable adults and presented a substantial risk of causing physical or mental injuries to the residents under her care.”
At no time during her employment did she have any certifications, qualifications or training of a registered nurse. Her actions caused physical or mental injuries to the residents under her care. Officials say charges against Steele include the following: Seven counts of neglect of a vulnerable adult; Five counts of unlicensed practice as a registered nurse; One count of financial identity fraud to obtain employment; and One count of obtaining signature or property under false pretenses, value $10,000 or more.
DHEC is Worthless
DHEC appears flat-footed. They do not conduct the necessary oversight. The agency is responsible for the the health and safety of the residents that call these facilities home. DHEC must oversee nursing homes and community residential care facilities. However, DHEC released a ridiculous statement:
“DHEC is investigating the allegations contained in the Attorney General’s Office October 27 press release as they may relate to DHEC’s role in regulating long-term care facilities, including staffing and other requirements.”
What kind of namby pamby statement is that!?! Of course, an unqualified and dangerous caregiver is definitely “related” to DHEC’s role in ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations! Good grief.
DHEC then tried to divert the responsibility to the Board of Nursing:
“Questions about the individual arrested and/or the practice of nursing and nursing licensure should be directed to South Carolina’s Board of Nursing in the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.”
An investigation revealed that Steele worked as a registered nurse at seven facilities (listed below) between January, 2020 and January 2022:
- Cascades Verdae Assisted Living Facility in Greenville
- Iva Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Iva
- Piedmont Post Acute in Piedmont
- Brookdale Assisted Living Facility in Anderson
- Condor Health in Anderson
- Easley Place Assisted Living Facility in Easley
- Fleetwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Assisted Living in Easley.