Medicare publishes ratings of nursing homes for a reason. They hope both patients and their families will do some comparison shopping before deciding on a long term care facility. A Georgia nursing home rated “much below average” by the feds was ordered to pay $1.8 million to the family of a 70 year old woman who fell from her bed and suffered a horrific brain injury. Sadly, the woman died 31 days later.
A DeKalb County state court jury found that Grace Healthcare of Tucker, Georgia was liable for the injuries suffered by Christine Mitchell back in 2015. Christine suffered a brain injury after an aide rolled her off the bed and on to the floor. The aide was trying to turn the woman over by herself when the accident occurred.
Although the jury awarded Christine’s family $1.8 million for her suffering, they did not find the nursing home responsible for her death.
Grace Healthcare Tucker’s Abysmal Safety Record
Read Grace Healthcare’s website and they will have you believe that “Everyone here goes above and beyond to ensure a safe and clean environment for the residents and staff.” Yet it was inadequate staffing caused Christine Mitchell’s fall… a fall that was completely preventable.
Nursing home best practices requires two people to turn patients in a bed. On the day of Christine’s fall the facility was understaffed meaning one aide tried to do the job by herself. She failed.
According to Medicare, the lack of proper care afforded Christine was not an isolated incident. The facility got the lowest rating possible (1 out of 5 stars) for staffing, quality measures and health inspection ratings.
Even after Christine’s death, it doesn’t appear that things have improved. The facility’s most recent inspection was June 15, 2018. The inspector found that out of a sample of 25 residents, the facility failed to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment for five of those residents.
Another resident apparently broke both his or her right foot and left in separate incidents caused by an aide rubbing over the patient’s foot with a wheelchair.
According the inspector’s report, “R#37 was being pushed in a wheel chair on 2/26/18 by the Occupational Therapist (OT) when the resident's left foot was run over by the wheel of the [wheel chair]. This resulted in a right displaced fibula. Review of an undated incident report which included the physician and family were notified on 5/15/18 noted, Resident #37 was being pushed to her room in a [wheel chair on 5/14/18 by the facility transporter. Resident #37's right foot was ran over by the wheel of the w/c which resulted in a right non-displaced Bimalleolar ankle fracture.”
Grace Healthcare’s problems aren’t limited to the Tucker nursing home. Many of the facilities have below average or much below average ratings.
In 2015, the Grace Healthcare of Abington came under investigation after an anonymous tip about a patient death. The Virginia Department of Health was also involved in the investigation. The death followed a 2013 fine by Medicare against the facility for quality of care issues.
Did that nursing home learn anything from the fines and death investigation? Apparently not, its most recent rating by Medicare is still “much below average.”
Grace Healthcare and Fraud
Poor patient care is one thing, but fraud is another. In 2013, Grace settled Justice Department fraud claims against nursing home manager Grace Healthcare LLC and its affiliate Grace Ancillary Services LLC. The companies agreed to pay $2.7 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting or causing the submission to the Medicare and Medicaid programs of false claims for “medically unreasonable and unnecessary rehabilitation therapy”.
The settlement resolved claims that in ten nursing home facilities. According to the Justice Department, the company pressured therapists to increase the amount of therapy provided to patients in order to meet targets for Medicare revenue that were set without regard to patients’ individual therapy needs and could only be achieved by billing for a large amount of therapy per patient.
Patients in nursing homes are often there because they are at the end of their life. These folks deserve dignity and quality care. They shouldn’t be forced in needless therapy just so Grace Healthcare can defraud the government and taxpayers.
If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries in a ling term care facility, you and your family may be entitled to damages. We handle cases involving deaths and serious injuries including bed sore cases. To see if you have a case, contact us for a no cost, no obligation case review. We can be contacted online or by phone at 833-201-1555. Cases accepted nationwide.
[If you are an past or present Grace Healthcare employee with information about Medicare fraud, visit our sister Mahany Law Medicare fraud whistleblower site. Insiders who step forward with information about healthcare fraud are entitled to cash rewards. The whistleblower in the above case was awarded $405,000.]
Grace Healthcare is a for profit company. According to their website, they have facilities throughout the United States. A list of their facilities includes:
Adamsville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
Beverly Park Place Health and Rehab
Frederick Villa Nursing Center
Grace Health and Rehabilitation Center of Greene County
Grace Healthcare of Abingdon
Grace Healthcare of Cordova
Grace Healthcare of Decatur
Grace Healthcare of Franklin
Grace Healthcare of Lake Wales
Lake Wales FL
Grace Healthcare of Three Rivers (Riverview Manor)
Three Rivers, MI
Grace Healthcare of Tucker
Grace Healthcare of Whites Creek
Whites Creek TN
Grace of Douglas
Grace Rehabilitation Center of Vero Beach
Vero Beach, FL
Island Home Park Health and Rehab
St Petersburg, FL
Kinnic Health & Rehab
River Falls, WI
Leewood Healthcare Center
Oneida Nursing & Rehab Center
Riveridge Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
Soddy-Daisy Health Care Center
Vindobona Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Braddock Heights, MD
West Hills Health and Rehab