Nursing homes that accept funds from Medicare and Medicaid must adhere to a strict list of guidelines. These guidelines cover everything from the number of staff members, nurses, and aides that are required to how long it takes to answer a patient’s call light. Regulations also cover things such as how wide handrails are to how much space a resident must have to themselves in the event that they share a room. These are just a few of the guidelines that must be followed and if they are not, the nursing facility can be fined. WRAL reports on several nursing homes belonging to one chain that have been fined for patient abuse.
Choice Health Management Services has a total of 16 nursing homes in North Carolina, most of them operating under the Universal Healthcare brand.
A total of $565,976 in fines has been levied against six of their facilities since 2015.
At the top of the list of those facilities is Universal Healthcare Fuquay-Varina with a total of $234,260 in fines. Universal Healthcare Lillington had fines of $151,483.
One incident was that of Rebecca Knapton’s father, who recently suffered from a stroke. A hidden camera captured her father, who recently suffered from a stroke, falling out of bed. Staffers did not respond until more than an hour passed. When they did, they berated him for falling out of bed.
Those staffers were fired.
Melvin Powell filed a complaint against Universal Healthcare North Raleigh last year after watching his mother and other residents ring for help only to have long waiting times.
The facility has a history of federal violations for insufficient staffing and failing to answer resident’s call lights in a sufficient time frame.
Another incident at the Lillington facility involved a doctor at an outside clinic who found living maggots in a wound on a resident’s foot. Previously, a nurse’s aide found the maggots the day before and left the room screaming without any further action being taken.