- By Matt Sanctis Staff Writer
A Springfield nursing facility accused of allowing a patient to overdose after accessing unsecured narcotics has a much higher number of health citations than the state average — a total of 31, according to a federal website.
Eaglewood Care center also received a statement of deficiency from the Ohio Department of Health after a patient died there in May 2016 after staff, “failed to appropriately monitor and seek timely medical attention when a resident experienced a significant change in condition.”
Information from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the Springfield facility received two enforcement letters that were sent to Eaglewood in 2016 and 2017 that included fines.
The letters provided by the federal agency show the facility was assessed federal civil penalties of $175,000 between April 9 and May 5, 2016, and $9,541 between May 6 and June 21, 2016.
A second letter dated Dec. 29, 2017, says Eaglewood was assessed $78,690 from May 3 to July 27 last year.
Bruce Wertheim, manager of Eaglewood operator Beacon Health Management, said the staff cares about their patients and that many deficiencies noted in the federal letters can be classified as administrative errors. He also said the facility submitted plans of correction to the Ohio Department of Health in each case and constantly works to make improvements to provide better care.
“This, in essence, is what the state survey process is all about: Helping ensure that health-care centers such as ours are providing the very best care possible for our patients and residents. That’s what matters most to us, and we will never stop trying to improve,” Wertheim said in an email to Springfield News-Sun.
In regards to the patient who died resulting in the state deficiency, Wertheim said his organization took over operating the nursing home in August of 2015 so the incident was less than a year into its licensure period and it was still rolling out its standards.
“Also, since that survey happened almost two years ago, many of the current staff were not involved so it would be difficult for me ascertain the exact reasons for the deficiency cited,” he said.
The facility’s most recent standard health inspection was Dec. 22, 2016, according to the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare website, which lists its rating as “much below average.”
State and federal officials couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, which was a holiday for many government workers.
The federal website lists the total number of health citations as 31 and says the average number of health citations in Ohio is 6.2. The Medicare website also shows 16 complaints were filed in the past three years that resulted in a citation.
The site also lists the facility’s staffing and registered nurse staffing rating as above average and quality of resident care as average.
In a letter dated Dec. 29, 2017, the federal agency noted health surveys were conducted on May 4, June 13 and July 13 last year, to determine if the facility was in compliance with federal requirements for nursing homes. “These surveys found that your facility was not in substantial compliance …” the letter says.
That letter states the Ohio Department of Health notified the facility on June 30, 2017, that the site would receive a mandatory denial of payment for new admissions effective Aug. 4, 2017, and a federal civil money penalty.
However, the letter also says the ODH visited Eaglewood again and said that penalty wouldn’t go into effect. But the facility would be assessed a federal civil penalty of $78,690 for the 86 days between May 3 and July 27, 2017, that the nursing home wasn’t in compliance.
The Ohio health department also sent a statement of deficiency dated June 3, 2016, after a patient died in April that year. The patient, “experienced respiratory distress and received no medical intervention,” the report says.
The patient’s doctor was paged at 1 a.m. April 9, 2016, and a nurse was awaiting a return call. The patient was assessed again at 2 and 3:30 a.m. and still showed signs of distress, the state report says. The doctor didn’t return the page and the patient was, “found on the floor without a pulse or respirations,” shortly before 7 a.m., the report says.
CPR was attempted but the patient didn’t respond and died, the statement of deficiency says.
Eaglewood took corrective action, the state report says, including staff training on appropriate responses when a patient’s condition changes — such as calling 9-1-1 — as well as auditing doctor’s response time, auditing medical records and deaths and implementing a daily tracking system for lab results.
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The Springfield News-Sun reported last week that the Ohio Department of Health filed a statement of deficiencies for Eaglewood Care Center, 2000 Villa Road in Springfield, after an alleged incident that occurred in December.
Two Eaglewood residents allegedly took oxycodone pills from a narcotic box left unlocked on a medication cart by a licensed practical nurse on Dec. 10, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
“This resulted in immediate jeopardy, serious life-threatening harm for one cognitively intact resident with a history of drug abuse …” the statement of deficiencies says.
That report also notes Eaglewood took several corrective actions, and provided a plan of correction to prevent a similar incident in the future.
Once a plan of correction is reviewed, the state will conduct a follow-up survey, ODH spokeswoman Melanie Amato said.