January 27, 2013

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA nursing home in Pennsylvania was fined $1,950 by the State of Pennsylvania for its alleged failure to effectively manage and maintain pharmaceutical services for its residents. The nursing home blamed its out-of-state pharmacy provider for the deficiencies and promptly contracted with another pharmacy provider for pharmaceutical products and services needed by its residents.

The attorney for the nursing home’s parent owner acknowledged the “serious drug problems” experienced by the nursing home that occurred in 2009, stating further that the pharmaceutical issues have been resolved. The same Pennsylvania nursing home had been cited for 30 other deficiencies between 2009 and 2012. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed that the nursing home had filed a plan of correction and has corrected the deficiencies that were cited.

Between 2009 and 2012, 707 nursing homes in Pennsylvania were cited for 11,469 deficiencies, resulting in $1.47 million in fines being collected. The cited deficiencies included infections suffered by nursing home residents, problems in obtaining necessary medical supplies, deficiencies in staff hand-washing practices, failing to maintain the privacy and failing to protect the confidentiality of residents, failing to maintain proper temperatures of food provided to residents, misplacing laundry carts, the sharing of closet space among multiple residents, and failing to post required notices regarding residents’ rights and contact information to report Medicare fraud.

The Pennsylvania nursing home cited for the pharmaceutical deficiencies for which it was fined $1,950 and that had other cited deficiencies is a 118-bed facility that is presently 95% occupied. The nursing home presently has a three-star rating.


While we applaud the Pennsylvania nursing home for its reported prompt response to correct its pharmaceutical deficiencies once they were noted and cited, we wonder whether it took an inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to uncover the pharmaceutical deficiencies and the other 30 deficiencies that were cited, how long the deficiencies were in effect before the citations were issued, and who among the nursing home’s staff, managers, and owners had knowledge of the deficiencies but did not take prompt and necessary steps to cure the problems before the state stepped in.

Why did it take a state inspection and the imposition of a fine before the Pennsylvania nursing home took the appropriate and necessary action? We do not know the answer to this question or the answers to other important questions but we believe that the answers may help spur others who observe nursing home deficiencies that may cause harm to nursing home residents to take timely and appropriate actions to make sure that nursing home residents receive the care and services that they require and to which they are entitled.

If you, a family member, or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) as a result of bad care in a Pennsylvania nursing home or in a nursing home in another state, you should promptly contact a Pennsylvania nursing home claim attorney (Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney) or nursing home claim attorney in your state who may agree to investigate your claim against a nursing home and file an appropriate claim against the nursing home for the injuries and losses that it caused.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with Pennsylvania nursing home claim lawyers or nursing home claim lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you or another injured person with a nursing home claim.

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