Four Nursing Homes Reported to CMS for Infection Control Violations
Sagepoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Department of Health has reported four nursing homes to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for violations in infection protocols designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is estimated that 40% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are nursing home residents, and the reports on these four nursing homes paint a picture of dysfunction in which undermanned, untrained, and ill-equipped staff members were left to fend for themselves.
“During the pandemic, there were no visitors allowed and few inspections, but we have a duty to find out what was going on inside Maryland nursing homes,” said Leah Barron, a cofounder and partner at Brown & Barron, a Baltimore law firm specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect. “The bottom line is that if a nursing home has the proper infection controls, you won’t have outbreaks of a virus, including COVID-19.”
The Sun was able to access the forms submitted to the CMS, detailing the inspectors reports. These inspections occurred after March 1, 2020, and include interviews with staff and residents. They included the following:
“At the Village at Augsburg in Baltimore, residents suspected of coronavirus infection were not separated from others, and employees told regulators they weren’t informed which residents tested positive for COVID-19.”
“An administrator at Bedford Court Healthcare Center in Silver Spring told a health regulator the facility did not establish a separate unit for COVID-19-positive residents because it is a small community and, at that point, had not confirmed any cases.”
“Regulators observed a staff member at Althea Woodland Nursing Home in Silver Spring wearing a protective gown inside out and with a large hole in it, and said an administrator told them he was overseeing infection prevention though he was not trained in it.”
“And the state last month fined Sagepoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tens of thousands of dollars for what it called “widespread deficiencies” that put its staff and residents at risk. At least 37 coronavirus deaths are linked to the facility.”
According to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health who spoke to the Sun, these facilities will face “substantial civil penalties.” Previously this month, the agency announced it would be fining nursing homes guilty of repeated offenses as much as $5,000 per instance, or $10,000 if problems are found to be “widespread.”
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.