Florida Nursing Home Placed on Federal Watch List

A Florida nursing home with a history of problems has been placed on a government watch list. The home must clean up its act to avoid a suspension of its Medicare and Medicaid payments.

“Nursing homes are entrusted with caring for our most vulnerable family members,” said Tampa personal injury lawyer Robert Joyce. “It is important that they be held to the highest standards of safety and care.”

Avante at Ormond Beach has been identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a “special focus facility,” indicating that the nursing home has shown a pattern of serious problems over a prolonged period of time.

In a report by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Brian Lee of the nursing home patient advocacy group Families for Better Care called the list the “nursing home hall of shame.”

Nursing homes on the list are subject to inspection twice as often as homes in good standing. Those that do not show improvement may face fines and denial of Medicare and Medicaid payments.

In a report on a past violation, government inspectors noted that Avante staff did not properly report and investigate an allegation of sexual assault. A resident at the home alleged that a staff member climbed into bed with the resident’s roommate. The employee and the roommate both denied the incident, and Avante management elected not to report the allegation to authorities. Inspectors concluded that the handling of the complaint constituted an “immediate jeopardy” to residents’ safety.

Lee told the News-Journal that it is not up to nursing home staff to determine the legitimacy of such allegations, and that authorities should have been notified.

Avante was also cited in an incident involving a resident kept on a feeding tube. The resident vomited three times in two days, but staff failed to notify his doctor as required by the man’s treatment plan.

Nursing Home Compare, the federal government’s rating website for nursing homes, rates Avante “average” in quality and “above average” in staffing, but “much below average” in health inspection. The facility’s overall rating is two out of five stars.

To learn more about the Tampa personal injury lawyer or the Joyce & Reyes Law Firm, visit http://www.joyceandreyespa.com/ or call 1.888.771.1529.