‘Immediate jeopardy:’ Ohio nursing home inspections reveal errors, deception preceded deadly COVID-19 outbreaks

1/29/2022 4:57:00 AM

Inspectors found several infection control failures, including allowing nurses with active COVID-19 infections to report for duty and placing infected residents in shared rooms with uninfected roommates.

Inspectors found several infection control failures, including allowing nurses with active COVID-19 infections to report for duty and placing infected residents in shared rooms with uninfected roommates.

Between allowing nurses with active COVID-19 infections to report for their care duties, placing infected residents in shared rooms with uninfected roommates, flouting preventive measures like masks and quarantines during outbreaks, and other preventable errors, inspectors found several instances of infection control failure in Ohio nursing homes that preceded massive and deadly outbreaks during the pandemic.

Updated: Jan.CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Health is holding a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday to discuss the virus in the state.Because of how rapidly the omicron variant spreads, the Ohio Department of Health said it has become too impractical to conduct practices like contract tracing.COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new partnership with state health officials will bring an additional 175,000 at-home COVID-19 testing kits to underserved areas, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Dr.

28, 2022, 1:12 p.m.m.| Published: Jan.Dr.28, 2022, 11:44 a.Bruce Vanderhoff will be joined by: Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more.m.“As the rapid test shortage is felt across the nation, this partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation will increase access to tests for those at high risk and help reduce spread in our communities.

Regulators found infection control violations in at least three dozen Ohio nursing homes placed the health and safety of patients in “immediate jeopardy” during the COVID pandemic.You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more.Ohio’s schools are now only required to report cases weekly.(Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer) The Plain Dealer shares By Jake Zuckerman | Ohio Capital Journal COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Regulators found infection control violations in at least three dozen Ohio nursing homes placed the health and safety of patients in “immediate jeopardy” during the COVID pandemic, an Ohio Capital Journal investigation has found.Between allowing nurses with active COVID-19 infections to report for their care duties, placing infected residents in shared rooms with uninfected roommates, flouting preventive measures like masks and quarantines during outbreaks, and other preventable errors, inspectors found several instances of infection control failure from nursing homes that preceded massive and deadly outbreaks during the pandemic.Learn more about our streaming options here.The conduct earned the facilities “immediate jeopardy” status, leading to steep fines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and sometimes forcing facilities to stop admitting new patients until they corrected course.Most Read.Some of the allegations go beyond negligent conduct and toward deliberate acts.Rajiv J.

In two nursing homes, inspectors for CMS claimed facility staff sent fake samples into the lab or backdated test results to give the appearance of more robust responses to outbreaks at their early stages.At least 84 residents died in connection with the alleged infection control violations at 13 Ohio facilities during the pandemic.“They should have been prepared and knowledgeable about what they could have done to prevent these injuries and deaths,” said Erin Pettegrew, the state’s deputy long-term care ombudsman at the Ohio Department of Aging, who reviewed reports obtained by the OCJ.“It’s an incredibly contagious disease and unprecedented, of course, but these examples were systemic failures on the part of the facility to protect their residents.” While CMS produced sometimes damning reports detailing findings of egregious deficiencies in care, the reports are difficult for the public to find and attract little attention from the public or policy makers.RELATED: How the cold could affect at-home COVID-19 tests as they arrive in Cleveland Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more.

They’re anonymized to protect patient privacy and generally not reader-friendly documents.Experts said in interviews for this report that the quality incentive metrics for homes established in state law is easily gamed, allowing substandard nursing homes to claim incentive payments.“If you set the bar so low that everybody can meet it, then you haven’t differentiated anyone.You’re not paying for quality; you’re just paying everyone for checking a box,” said Jane Straker, director of research at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University.Deadly mistakes Take the Embassy of Newark, in Licking County..

On June 25, 2020, a nurse worked a shift on the nursing home’s quarantine ward.Five days later, she took a COVID-19 test, which came back positive the next day, according to a CMS inspection report.The facility began shuffling patients around the facility.Four residents who were close contacts of the nurse were not tested, despite known chronic health conditions, but were moved out from the quarantine unit.All of them were allowed to remain in shared rooms with other residents after their exposure.

A daughter of one of the four told CMS she was not informed the facility had a COVID-19 outbreak or that her parent had been exposed to a positive case (the resident died July 25).The facility paid a $459,000 fine to CMS, according to a letter obtained in a records request.The incident received no apparent public attention.The facility has a 1 out of 5 star rating on Medicare’s online nursing home comparison tool, but there are no specifics of the deadly blunders.Facility owner Embassy Healthcare, which operates dozens of facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, did not respond to inquiries.

The network’s Hocking County nursing home, Embassy of Logan, also received an immediate jeopardy citation in November 2020.Inspectors said six residents at the facility who tested negative for COVID-19 were either left in or placed in a COVID-19 unit with six infected residents.“[Embassy of Logan’s] failure to effectively implement infection control practices likely contributed to the COVID-19 outbreak that spread throughout the facility infecting 44 residents with COVID-19 resulting in two deaths,” CMS wrote.Its owners paid a $203,000 fine , after a 35% reduction for agreeing to waive their right to an administrative hearing.At Columbus Colony Elder Care, an activity assistant worked three shifts, interacting with at least 65 residents in April 2020, according to CMS.

He tested positive soon thereafter, and inspectors found no evidence he was screened for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure before his test, or that staff traced his contacts afterward.Sixty-one residents wound up contracting COVID-19 over the next month.Fifteen died.Twenty-seven employees contracted the disease as well.CMS fined the facility $152,000 after a 35% reduction for agreeing to waive its right to a hearing.

Its operators did not respond to inquiries.At ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehab Willoughby, a nurse practitioner was allowed to enter the building Aug.7, 2020, to see residents after indicating on an employee screening tool that she was awaiting test result due to either an exposure or symptoms, according to CMS.Regardless, she and two x-ray technicians were both allowed to work in resident care areas while awaiting results.The first cases in the outbreak emerged Aug.

10.In the back half of the month, nursing home operators failed to identify 13 staff members who indicated they had symptoms related to COVID-19, according to CMS.In September, they missed another 10 symptomatic staffers.Of 91 residents in the home, 71 contracted COVID-19 between Aug.10 and Sept.

22, 2020.Fourteen of the residents died of the disease.ProMedica paid about $407,000 in fines.ProMedica, which operates a network of hospitals and nursing homes, chose to cooperate with the survey process and pay the fine instead of spending the time and resources to dispute the survey, according to spokeswoman Julie Beckert.She said facility records indicate employees who reported symptoms or exposures were put on leaves of absence.

She said the facility has reviewed training and infection protocols since the survey.“At ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation center in Willoughby, we know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to the COVID-19 virus and its variants,” she said.“When it is prevalent in our community, it will also be in health care settings such as ours.Throughout the pandemic, we have been focused on doing everything possible to keep our patients and employees safe.” Besides leaving COVID-19 patients in rooms with COVID-negative occupants during an outbreak, Crestview Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing prescribed to all residents — regardless of exposure — a “preventative cocktail” of vitamins and antibiotics.

The drugs are not approved for use against COVID-19 by the FDA, but the facility’s medical director told CMS he ordered the drugs based on his “extensive research” and because he claimed they worked well in Europe.Some.

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Let me guess, EmbassyHealth was not available for comment... 🙄 What is GovMikeDeWine doing about this? Wasn't the Governor of New York being blamed for nursing home neglect? Another Black eye on Ohio cause by ohiogop incompetance These nursing homes should be facing criminal charges for this negligence. You know you have COVID and you go to work and infect the elderly? You put infected people into the same room with uninfected people? Charge all these workers.

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