Stay home, stay safe. That was the line the so-called experts sold the authorities and the public. As a result, Texas and every other state in the nation declared health emergencies and enforced severe COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and social interactions.
The spread was blunted in Texas, but there were widespread unintended consequences: business failures, depression, substance abuse, and even suicides. Perhaps no group has suffered as much as our senior nursing home residents, who were denied visits by loved ones and had to live in forced isolation.
For their safety and protection, they were cut off from family. In many cases, the strategy worked; Texas escaped the fate of states like New York and New Jersey, where COVID-19 infections ravaged nursing homes. But too many facilities failed in their mission to keep residents safe.
One failing facility is Fox Hollow Post Acute in Brownsville. This for-profit nursing home with 126 certified beds reported 63 COVID-19 cases among its residents, 23 of which were fatal. That death toll topped all of Cameron County and is among the highest in the state. But Fox Hollow didn’t just fail its residents.
According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Fox Hollow also recorded 58 COVID-19 cases among its employees. That number indicates a broad failure to adopt and implement effective COVID protocols or to train and supervise its staff. But who could have expected a facility with Fox Hollow’s record of failure to have done any better?
Understaffed Nursing Home Lets Resident Care Suffer
Fox Hollow Post Acute currently has a one-star rating from Medicare.gov, the official U.S. government website that assesses Medicare providers. Termed “much below average,” the rating is a composite of several fields, including:
- Health inspections — In this category, Fox Hollow earns two-stars for “below average” performance. A June 2019 inspection resulted in eight citations for health violations, including failure to develop a personalized care plan for residents; failure to develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent abuse, neglect, and theft; failure to investigate and report allegations of abuse within timeframes as required by federal requirements; pharmacy services deficiencies and environmental deficiencies.
- Staffing — Fox Hollow averages about 100 residents per day. Yet, the number of registered nurses on staff only allows each resident an average of 11 minutes. By contrast, the national average for registered nurse hours per resident per day is 45 minutes. The Texas average is 26 minutes. The physical therapist’s hours per resident per day equaled 0 minutes. These deficiencies earned Fox Hollow a one-star rating in this category.
No one should be shocked that an understaffed facility that too often fails to care adequately for patients failed to keep them safe from the pandemic.
Justice for Victims of Nursing Home Negligence
If you have a relative in a Texas nursing home, you understand how important it is to advocate for their welfare. Frequent visits to check on their wellbeing is essential. But COVID-19 took that protection away. With no visitors to keep them honest, too many nursing homes got comfortable neglecting patient care. At a crucial moment when facilities should have raised their standards, facilities like Fox Hollow failed to answer the call. As a result, patients were harmed, and many died unnecessarily.
If your loved one was injured and you suspect neglect was a factor, our attorneys are ready to investigate. If we determine that careless, substandard care injured your loved one, we are prepared to fight for justice, including injunctive relief and cash compensation.
Call us: 833.201.1555 or Connect Online.