Nursing home fined $1500 for neglect

Woman fell nine times in 7 months, and didn’t get 22 doses of necessary medications but the State only fined the home $1500.

A resident fell nine times in seven months before anyone at her nursing home acted to prevent further falls. Her chart also describes six weeks last fall when she was behaving wildly — yelling, pacing, threatening staff and taking off her clothes, among other things. But none of her caregivers connected that to the fact that they failed during those same weeks to give her 22 doses of a drug to treat her mental illness.

For failing to provide that necessary care, Santa Rosa Care Center paid a $1,500 fine last week to the Arizona Department of Health Services, which licenses nursing homes and other elder-care facilities.
Last week’s $1,500 fine was the second penalty Santa Rosa has paid since Oct. 31. The home paid $3,500 after a March 2006 complaint investigation documented that a male nurse and two other staffers were verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to seven residents.

One of the residents was kicked, another was restrained with a choke hold, another had his arm twisted behind his back, and several of the residents said staff members had yelled at them.

The purpose of a fine is “to create enough incentive to stay in compliance (with state licensing rules) but to not be so detrimental to the facility as to pull too many resources away from patient care,” Wynn said.
Grabel said he thought the penalty was low, “considering what happened to the patient … If the individual had nine falls, there should have been a fall-prevention plan that was implemented for her. If there was a problem with her getting her meds appropriately, then that also should have been taken care of as part of a plan. We need to make sure that we have better care for our elderly.”