Beginning in September 2019, we sounded the alarm over a deadly outbreak of a new virus named Candida Auris. It is a fungal infection that is one of the most virulent and deadly in the world. The first U.S. case was in 2015. Since then there have been several deadly outbreaks in New Jersey, New York and California. [To learn more about Candida Auris, click the link.]
Last November, we obtained information from State of California’s Department of Public Health. Pursuant to a Freedom of Information request, they disclosed that several California healthcare facilities had “confirmed cases of Candid Auris (C. auris) colonization or confirmed infections between January 1, 2018 and November 4, 2019. Those facilities were mostly in Southern California and included:
- Kindred Hospital -Westminster
- Kindred Hospital – Santa Ana
- Kindred Hospital - Brea
- French Park Care Center – Santa Ana
- Garden Park Care Center - Santa Ana
- Pacific Haven Subacute and Healthcare Center – Garden Grove
- Kindred Hospital Brea Subacute Unit
- New Orange Hills
- Regency Oaks Post Acute Care Center – Long Beach
There is good news about C. auris. Simple sanitation can easily stop the spread. Unlike coronavirus, it doesn’t require patients to wear uncomfortable masks or practice social distancing. Healthcare workers simply need to wash your hands and practice other normal sanitation practices.
The infectious disease control experts say a few simple steps can stop the spread of most diseases. Common infection control steps include:
- Hand Hygiene. Nursing home staff are often overworked and underpaid. The latter often leads to hiring workers who are not qualified. Studies show that nursing home workers follow proper hand sanitization less than half the time.
- Environmental cleanliness. Continuous cleaning and use of germicides are often lacking at nursing homes.
- Protective equipment. (Gloves, face masks, gowns)
- Training. Some nursing home workers only get an hour or two of sanitation awareness and procedure training. That’s it. Facilities should constantly train staff on proper hygiene and sanitation.
What that means is that a year later we shouldn’t be hearing more stories about C. auris in California nursing homes and specifically at Kindred’s Brea facilities.
Kindred Hospital Brea
Kindred Healthcare LLC is a huge company. It has over 38,000 employees and facilities in 45 states. Kindred is a for-profit company that operates long term care hospitals and nursing homes. Their Brea facility is two in one, there is a both a skilled nursing facility and a long term care hospital.
Because Brea is part of such a large national healthcare company, they should have the best training and access to testing and infectious disease specialists. On paper, both Kindred Brea facilities got great marks from Medicare. Look behind the curtain and the picture isn’t as rosy.
Kindred Brea’s long term care hospital did have two alarming findings, both regarding patient care. Brea’s rate of bedsores was 50% higher than the national rate and the percentage of patients injured in falls was twice the national average.
Kindred Has Been Charged with Fraud Numerous Times
Unfortunately, as of December 1st 2020, much of the data that Medicare once made available online will no longer be easily available. That means looking at inspection reports and historical data will be more difficult.
We do know, however, that Kindred Healthcare is no stranger to accusations of healthcare fraud. According to Violation Tracker, Kindred and its affiliates have been charged with violating the False Claims Act on at least 8 occasions. As a result, the company has in recent years paid a whopping $312,295,996.00 in antifraud penalties.
In 2016, RehabCare Group, a Kindred therapy provider, paid $125,000,000.00 to settle allegations that it billed for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable, necessary and skilled, or that never even occurred. The year prior, Kindred settled a class action lawsuit brought by its own employees claiming they were underpaid. The company paid $16,500,000.00 to settle those claims.
What does all of this mean for patients at Brea? Plenty. It is clear that the company puts profits before patients
Candida Auris and Kindred Brea
Recently we learned from concerned family that two residents at Kindred Brea passed away from C. auris. The infections were recent and not from last fall. How this deadly infection is still hanging around Brea is unknown. Kindred had months to sanitize and make sure nurses and other aides change gloves and engage in good sanitation.
If deadly Candida auris can linger and spread at Kindred Brea, so can coronavirus. In our opinion, the combination makes both facilities a deathtrap.
No one goes to a nursing home expecting to get COVID-19 or C. auris. Unfortunately, because of hygiene and infectious disease protocols at Brea we worry for every resident still there.
When a California skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation hospital fails to maintain clean and sanitary conditions, it breaches its duty to care to patients. When that happens and when the patient develops coronavirus or Candida Auris , the patient or patient's family may be entitled to monetary compensation. Damages include medical expenses, pain and suffering, future care expenses and diminished life expectancy.
It's Too Late, My Family Member Has Candida Auris, Now What?
Our network of experienced nursing home neglect attorneys understands the special needs of elderly and disabled clients. We know how to aggressively prosecute infection claims against nursing homes.
Unlike some personal injury lawyers that like to quickly settle our lawyers are all handpicked for their skill, experience, and willingness to take cases to trial. We have the financial depth to hire the right expert witnesses when the wrongdoers deny responsibility or refuse to settle on favorable terms.
Whether at Kindred Hospital Brea or Kindred Brea Skilled Nursing Facility, or at any other facility in the United States, if you or a loved one has contracted candida auris, coronavirus or other deadly infection and believe it is because of poor care or inadequate staffing, let us know. We will personally handle your case from start to finish or connect you with one of our experienced hand-picked partners. Our consultations are always free, confidential and without obligation. Contact us by email [hidden email], by phone 833.201.1555 or contact us online.
There are specific time limits in every state about bringing claims. In California, personal injury suits generally must be brought within 2 years. There may be shorter time periods for medical malpractice. Wait too long and you may lose your right to bring a claim.