The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Bigfork Valley Communities, a nursing home in Bigfork, Minnesota. A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that neglect occurred when staff failed to ensure the resident’s oxygen was removed before the resident lit his/her cigarette. The resident’s oxygen started on fire burning the resident’s cheeks and nose.
The MDH investigated the matter and found that neglect occurred when the facility staff failed to provide adequate supervision to a resident who was smoking. The staff did not remove the resident’s oxygen prior to the resident lighting a cigarette. The oxygen/tubing ignited, resulting in first degree burns to the cheek and nose of the resident. Administrative nursing staff stated that although the resident’s assessment indicated the resident required supervision with smoking, there was no direction to staff related the type of supervision required for the resident related to smoking and oxygen use prior to the fire. The MDH determined that the facility is responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident. [Case no. H5529004]
Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 47-bed nursing home facility. Medicare has assigned an overall rating to Bigfork Valley Communities as a “below average” facility. In addition, Medicare has assigned a rating to Bigfork Valley Communities as a “much below average” facility based on the government’s health inspections of the facility. According to Medicare’s most recent annual inspection, Bigfork Valley Communities was cited by the government for 19 separate health deficiencies (significantly higher than the state average of 6.6 deficiencies for Minnesota nursing homes). Medicare has issued deficiency citations to Bigfork Valley Communities for this nursing home’s:
- Failure to 1) hire only people with no legal history of abusing, neglecting or mistreating residents; or 2) report and investigate any acts or reports of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.
- Failure to develop policies that prevent mistreatment, neglect, or abuse of residents or theft of resident property.
- Failure to provide activities to meet the interests and needs of each resident.
- Failure to provide medically-related social services to help each resident achieve the highest possible quality of life.
- Failure to make sure services provided by the nursing facility meet professional standards of quality.
- Failure to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well being of each resident.
- 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 make sure that each resident gets a nutritional and well balanced diet, unless it is not possible to do so.
- Failure to give or get specialized rehabilitative services per the patient’s assessment or plan of care.
- 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 give each resident a notice of rights, rules, services, and charges. Tell each resident who can get Medicaid benefits about 1) which items and services Medicaid covers and for which the resident must pay for.
- Failure to immediately tell the resident, the resident’s doctor and a family member of the resident of situations (injury/decline/room, etc.) that affect the resident.
- Failure to keep each resident’s personal and medical records private and confidential.
- Failure to determine if it is safe for the resident to self-administer drugs.
- Failure to provide care for residents in a way that keeps or builds each resident’s dignity and respect of individuality.
- Failure to make sure that the nursing home area is free from accident hazards and risks and provides supervision to prevent avoidable accidents.
- Failure to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.
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 or other care facility, 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.