Like every other state in the country, Texas has run through a gamut of COVID-19 restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly virus. All manners of businesses have been impacted, but none more than our nursing home facilities, which care for our population’s most vulnerable members.
In the early days of the pandemic, severe restrictions on visitors to nursing homes left many seniors isolated.
The harm such isolation did to their mental and physical state was incalculable. Still, authorities assured us it was necessary to save them from a disease that would likely be fatal. In many cases, the restrictions worked to arrest the spread of COVID. But in too many subpar facilities, where best practices are rarely observed, the disease took its toll.
One such facility is Twin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation on East Mockingbird Land in Victoria. According to data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 120 residents at Twin Pines have contracted COVID-19 as of October 30, and 22 have succumbed.
How could this infection have ravaged the facility when everyone knew enhance health and hygiene protocols were needed, and the state government had gone so far as to eliminate visitor access to nursing homes?
When we look at the number of Twin Pines employees who became infected, 72, it’s apparent how the disease entered the facility and why it spread so quickly. Twin Pines failed to communicate enhanced protocols, properly train its workforce, and enforce best practices for stopping the spread. Given the facility’s deplorable record of substandard care, no one should be surprised.
A Shameful Record of Substandard Care
Twins Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation is one of two facilities that receive a lowly one-star overall rating from Medicare.gov, the official U.S. government website that rates nursing home performance. The other home, Twin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Mallette Drive in Victoria also earned the “much below average” overall rating. But it is the Mockingbird Lane facility that leads Victoria County in nursing home COVID fatalities. The deficiencies found at the Mockingbird Lane site include:
- Health inspections — One star, meaning “much below average,” for a facility that received 18 citations for health violations in 2019 after receiving 15 in 2018. Areas covered by these violations include abuse and neglect prevention, resident assessment and care planning, nutrition and diet deficiencies, environmental deficiencies, and pharmacy service deficiencies.
- Staffing — Despite averaging 158 residents per day, which is more than twice the Texas and national average, the facility was notably understaffed. Registered nurse hours per resident per day were a paltry 14 minutes, as compared to the national average of 45 minutes and the Texas average of 26 minutes. Physical therapist availability was half the Texas and national average. The staffing rating was also one star.
- Quality of care — Another one-star category, due in part to the inordinately high percentage of residents who were re-hospitalized after admission or had an outpatient emergency room visit. The rate of residents’ successful return to home and community from Twin Pines was only 28.4 percent, far worse than the national rate of 50.1 percent.
It is no wonder that a facility with such egregious failings proved incompetent when it came to COVID protections.
Protection and Compensation for Your Cherished Loved Ones
Given the level of neglect too often found in Texas nursing homes, it’s often up to residents’ loved ones to advocate for better care. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions have prevented many family members from visiting, observing and reporting neglect, increasing the likelihood that elders will suffer from substandard care as well as COVID-19 infection. But you mustn’t be discouraged.
If you suspect neglect has caused injury to your loved one, including COVID-19 infection, our attorneys are ready to investigate. If we find that negligent, substandard care has harmed your loved one, we are ready to fight for justice, including injunctive relief and cash compensation.
Call us: 833.201.1555 or Connect Online.