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Mahnomen Health Center employee repeatedly stole patients’ narcotic medication

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of narcotic diversion concerns at the Mahnomen Health Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that the nursing home’s staff diverted narcotic medications from residents. The staff member documented controlled substances given to nine residents on shifts when the staff member was not even working.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the staff member had diverted the narcotic medication (hydrocodone) that belonged to eight residents for the staff member’s personal use. Nursing home management knew that the staff member dispensed more hydrocodone to residents than any other staff.  The staff member tested positive for opiates and admitted to taking the hydrocodone from the residents, taking 30 tablets every week. [Case no. H5238012]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 48-bed nursing home facility.  Medicare has assigned an the Mahnomen Health Center as a “Below Average”  for the health inspections of the facility.  Deficiencies cited by Medicare based on the most recent inspection include Mahnomen Health Center’s:

  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that residents receive treatment/services to not only continue, but improve the ability to care for themselves.
  • Failure to assist those residents who need total help with eating/drinking, grooming and personal and oral hygiene.
  • Failure to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing bed sores.
  • Failure to make sure that residents with reduced range of motion get propertreatment and services to increase range of motion.
  • Failure to develop a complete care plan that meets all of a resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.
  • Failure to allow the resident the right to participate in the planning or revision of the resident’s care plan.
  • Failure to 1) make sure that each resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs; 2) each resident’s entire drug/medication is managed and monitored to achieve highest well being.
  • Failure to have a licensed pharmacist review each resident’s medication(s) at least once a month and report any irregularities to the attending doctor.
  • Failure to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.

In the two previous inspections, Medicare cited Mahnomen Health Center’s for these additional deficiencies:

  • Failure to provide medically-related social services to help each resident achieve the highest possible quality of life.
  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that each resident gets a nutritional and well balanced diet, unless it is not possible to do so.
  • Failure to provide or obtain dental services for each resident.
  • Failure to make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional.
  • Failure to keep the rate of medication errors (wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong time) to less than 5%.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.