Grace Healthcare under Fire Again
Written by Jeff Meyer on May 15, 2015
Grace Healthcare in Abingdon, VA is once again in trouble for infractions stemming from complaints regarding its residents. This time, it’s Virginia’s Department of Social Service that’s investigating the elderly home. They’re looking into an incident that is completely unrelated to the other ones being looked into. Authorities report it has to do with alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Department of Social Services Involved
At this time, not many details are forthcoming. It is an ongoing investigation, after all. What we know is that Virginia’s Department of Social Services is looking into the aforementioned charges at Grace Healthcare.
However, the state also wrapped up a prior investigation the week before, so the results should be posted soon. Again, there are no details regarding it yet, though we know it took several weeks to carry out. The one thing the agency would say is that their work did not involve anything that would put a current resident in immediate jeopardy.
An Earlier Death
Of course, those two complaints aren’t even the worst of it for Grace Healthcare. The Abingdon, VA nursing home was also investigated earlier in the month for a death that occurred there on April 3rd. However, once again, the public was told that this incident has nothing to do with the other three. Still, three incidents in one month at a facility with only 120 beds: that’s a bad month.
All we know about the death is that it involved someone at the facility and only came to light because of an anonymous tip sent to the police. There’s been no confirmation about whether or not it was a resident though.
A Case from 2013
This isn’t the first time Grace Healthcare has run afoul of authorities. Back in March, 2013, they were forced to pay an $83,818 fine after a lengthy inspection of the premises. A federal agency reported 53 different examples of deficiency in care. Most of these had to do with administration or quality of care. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, those deficiencies were addressed by April.
Deficiencies get issued to homes when they fail to meet a specific standard required by the government. The government can also impose various penalties on the business and often does when deficiencies are quite serious. Any home that doesn’t rectify the deficiencies will have its agreement with the government terminated, meaning they won’t be able to accept Medicare and Medicaid.
During their inspection, authorities heard reports from residents that they were being alternatively ignored and yelled at. The inspectors also observed evidence of physical abuse. Whether the allegations made by residents were true or not, they had not been sent up the chain as is procedure, landing the nursing home in hot water.
Lastly, inspectors found that Grace Healthcare did not work to ensure that only people without legal histories of abuse, neglect and mistreatment were hired. They also failed to develop policies that would help to prevent these types of problematic behavior too.
After 2013, another inspection was carried out the following year. This one, again, had problems, though not as many. In February, 2014, inspectors left with a number of complaints. Chief among them, though, was that the home still wasn’t providing the type of care that would guarantee residents enjoyed the highest possible well-being.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid give Grace Healthcare one star out of five on their website. This should also serve as a good reminder that you must do your research before hiring a home to take care of your loved ones. If something happens to them during their stay, quickly seek the advice of a lawyer.