Ohio Nursing Home News: AG DeWine Works to Close Ohio Nursing Home for Abuses
Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine announced that his office was working with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to revoke the license of a Zanesville, Ohio nursing home after investigations found alleged evidence of substandard care.
Autumn Healthcare has been on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Special Focus Facilities” list for more than two years because of serious quality issues. However, DeWine and the ODH conducted a covert investigation of Autumn Healthcare of Zanesville after the AGs Health Care Fraud Section received complaints from the families of some of the patients.
The AG said in a news release “In January, I reached out to the Ohio Department of Health to come up with a plan on how we could work together to aggressively go after nursing homes whose employees are providing inadequate care. It is important to point out that there are many good nursing homes in Ohio that provide excellent care. We are putting those that don’t on notice that we are not afraid to take action.”
With the permission of the families of patients in the Ohio nursing home, agents installed cameras in numerous rooms. The videos revealed that at least one patient did not receive proper personal, medical and nutritional care, and that some staff members falsified medical documents. The ODH also found infection control, food and nutrition, treatment and care and resident rights violations.
“What these hidden surveillance cameras showed us was shocking and was appalling. And I must tell you, that when I talk to some of our nurses and some of our agents who reviewed these tapes, they were sickened, physically sickened, by what they saw,” said Ohio AG Mike DeWine in a news conference.
ODH Works to Revoke Ohio Nursing Home License
The ODH began the process of revoking the nursing home’s license, which can take up to 60 days. In the meantime, the federal CMS has said that it intends to terminate its service agreement with Autumn Healthcare on August 2, 2013. This termination would prevent the facility from being reimbursed by the government for patients on Medicare or Medicaid.
Ohio Nursing Home Files Lawsuit
Autumn Healthcare filed a lawsuit in a Columbus court seeking a restraining order against the AG to prevent the facilities closure and CMS agreement termination. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the lawsuit also questions the state’s use of surveillance cameras. Judge Edmund Sargus will hear the case for the restraining order on August 5, and has ordered that no government insurance payments be withheld until after the hearing.
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