Sprain Brook Manor Rehab in Scarsdale, New York received 40 citations for violations of public health laws between October 2015 and September 2019, according to the New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 4, 2019. The citations resulted from eight inspections by the Department of Health, the public entity tasked with overseeing health and safety standards in nursing home facilities; the statewide average is 32 citations. The violations described by the Department’s citations include the following:
1. The nursing home did not ensure the competency of its nursing staff. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to employ “sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets” to care for residents. A May 2019 citation found that Sprain Brook Rehab did not ensure that its Certified Nursing Assistants “demonstrated competency to provide safe care and respond to individual needs” for one of three residents reviewed. An inspector specifically found that the resident, who was unable to stand and needed assistance to transfer with the aid of a mechanical device, was transferred by nursing assistants when that device was not functioning, but that the assistants did not inform the nurse or seek “guidance for how to safely transfer the resident.” The inspector noted that the resident described feeling pain when she was being transferred.
2. The nursing home did not properly ensure its residents’ freedom from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code, nursing home residents have the right “to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” In October 2018, an inspector found that Sprain Brook did not properly implement its abuse prohibition protocol for one of three residents reviewed for an abuse allegation. The allegation, reported by another staffer, was that a Certified Nursing Assistant was physically rough with the resident, on one instance forcibly holding the resident in a chair, and on another pushing her hand down on the resident. Facility policy, according to the citation, stipulated that employees suspected of resident abuse should not be assigned to care duties “in any part of the building which the resident frequents.” In spite of this, the citation reports that while the investigation was in progress, the assistant was still allowed to perform duties on the resident’s unit, “potentially promoting continuation of the physical abuse.”
3. The nursing home did not provide proper treatment and services to prevent and heal pressure ulcers. Section 483.25(c) stipulates that nursing homes must provide a level of care that prevents residents who enter without pressure sores from developing them (unless their condition renders such unavoidable), and which provides necessary treatment and services to residents with pressure sores. According to an April 2016 citation, Sprain Brook failed to adequately promote the healing of pressure sores on three of six residents reviewed. A Department of Health noted that while residents’ longstanding pressure ulcers were not hearing, there was no evidence that medical staff reviewed the residents’ care plans or treatment for effectiveness, nor that they revised the healing plans. In fact, two supervisory staff told an inspector that they were aware the residents’ treatment should have been changed, but “didn’t feel comfortable” suggesting this to the facility’s wound doctor.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.