Articles Posted in Nursing Home Neglect

Schuylkill County finance officials are taking a closer look at the county’s nursing home, Rest Haven, as costs are becoming too expensive to continue to operate the home, according to an article on the

County contributions have been increasing over the past few years and as a result the county finance director said they have been watching things carefully.

One factor they are considering is that for the last six years, Rest Haven has not been operating at full capacity, according to the article. In December 2013, 135 of the 142 beds at the facility were filled. That was 14 more beds that were filled than had been for the previous 2 years.

Seniors in the western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh area are getting to know first-hand the benefits of telemedicine through the use of health-monitoring devices that look like a regular sports watch.

An article on explains that Lutheran SeniorLife is a faith-based, nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania that runs senior living communities. About 2 years ago, they started to use a system called the MobileCare Monitor with the more frail residents of their senior living communities. If the resident falls, the monitor sends a text message to the smartphone of a nurse’s aide as well as sending an alert to a Web-based system called a CareStation. Within the first day of use, the monitor alerted a nurse that a resident who was recently moved from a nursing home to a low-income senior housing center had fallen out of bed.

Since using the monitoring system, the percent of residents that Lutheran SeniorLife has had to move into nursing homes has been reduced from 20 percent to 12 percent. According to the article, about 40 of the 500 residents who are enrolled in the program use the monitoring device so that they can stay out of the nursing home. Although there are charges associated with using the monitor, Lutheran SeniorLife administrators say the costs are much less than having to move someone into a nursing home.

A bedbug infestation was discovered last week at the Liberty Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Allentown. But by the week’s end, work to clean up the problem was scheduled to be finished, according to an article on

When the issue came to light, an exterminator was called in and residents and their families were notified of the situation. Every room in the nursing facility was inspected for bedbugs. If a mattress was found to be infested, the bedding was thrown out. Residents in affected rooms were temporarily moved until their room was treated and dried.

According to the article, online Department of Health records indicated that the last inspection was on Oct. 3 and the facility passed. But bedbug infestations are not reportable to the state. Nursing homes should have pest control policies in place and the state will check for effectiveness when they visit again.

Rest Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation in Schuylkill Haven was on the agenda of the commissioners’ meeting last week.

According to an article on the, the home is facing financial issues. The county owned nursing home used money from the general fund to pay expenses in 2013. Although that money was repaid, the home will need to do the same this year, due to slow third-party reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare.

In the article, the county finance director explained that in the last 30 days, Rest Haven had been given $1 million from the general fund. He said the facility does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses.

Over-medicating of older adults, especially those in nursing homes, has come to light in news and studies across the nation. And now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are taking steps to make sure that Medicare Part D is not part of the problem.

According to an article on, CMS has issued a proposed rule that will help control the prescription drug program. To date, CMS has left oversight of Plan D to the private health plans that administer it. But with this new rule, prescribers would have to be enrolled in Medicare in order for their prescriptions to be cover by Part D. Through a certification process, CMS would have the power to check that qualified prescribers are issuing Part D drugs. If abusive practices were discovered, CMS could revoke prescribers’ enrollment, as well.

The rule would also allow CMS to gather prescription records, invoices, and other documents from pharmacies rather than through Plan D prescribers, as another way of combating abuse and fraud. The rule will be published this week in the Federal Register.

Next week, Cumberland County Commissioners should vote on awarding the contract for renovations to Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the county’s nursing home. The renovations would turn unused buildings into a state-of-the-art, short-term rehab center.

The short-term rehab center would bring in about 39 temporary residents recovering from procedures like hip replacements and knee surgery. The additional revenue is expected to help keep the home from going broke. Currently, Claremont receives 80 percent of its funding from Medicaid. But Medicaid funds have been flat while expenses have risen. Because the home receives no funding from the county’s general fund, Claremont has dipped into its own reserves in recent years as needed.

Bids came in below the projected costs of $2.2 million to $2.4 million in renovations. Commissioners may award the bid on Monday. Claremont recently received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the highest rating that CMS awards.

Carneys Point Care Center in Carneys Point Township, NJ, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for serious violations involving workplace hazards.

According to an article on, the nursing home underwent an OSHA inspection in May. Now they are facing ten serious violations and up to $50,000 in penalties.

One violation involved laundry department employees being exposed to excessive levels of heat. The penalty for that violation alone is over $6,000. Other violations include ensuring easy access to sharps containers; correcting exposed wires from an industrial washer; and providing suitable eyewash facilities, bloodborn pathogen training, Hepatitis B vaccines, and effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

A few weeks ago, we blogged about Butler County hiring a real estate company to evaluate the county-owned nursing home, Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Now that county commissioners are working on the 2014 budget, they must make a decision on whether to sell the county home or not.

According to an article on, the county is accepting proposals through Dec. 13 from companies who may be interested in buying Sunnyview. In 2013, the 220-bed nursing home operated on a $20 million budget. Nearly $1.4 million came from the county and the rest from patients and insurers. Commissioners have set the minimum sale price for Sunnyview at $13.5 million.

If Sunnyview is sold to a private owner, the county could see significant cost savings, as staff at the home make up one-third of the county workforce. Hundreds of county workers would be removed from the county payroll if the nursing home is sold. The sale of the home would also have to cover the value of some future pensions as well as make up for the loss of those employees who retire and remove their pensions.

A new study by the U.S. National Institutes of Heath has reported that newer, high-density foam mattresses used in nursing homes may not need to be turned every two hours as a way of preventing pressure ulcers, or bedsores. According to an article on, the findings were recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Bedsores are injuries that occur to skin and tissue that develops from prolonged pressure on the skin. Those most at risk for bedsores are patients with a medical condition that limits their ability to move or change positions, those in wheelchairs, and patients who are in bed for long periods of time.

It is standard practice in United States nursing homes that patients are turned every two hours to prevent bedsores. This practice stemmed from the use of older mattresses with spring coils that can put added pressure on areas of the body where it is more likely for bedsores to develop, such as the heel, the hip, ankles, and the buttocks.

After decades as Beaver County’s county-run nursing home, it was announced this week that Friendship Ridge has been sold to a New Jersey company, Comprenhensive HealthCare Management Services.

According to an article on the, the deal to sell the 600-bed facility, the third largest nursing home in Pennsylvania, was made today. The new owners will close on the property on March 1.

In the article, company officials said they plan to keep the majority of the 600 employees who work at Friendship Ridge. They also plan to upgrade the building and want patient care to be a top priority.

Contact Information