New Castle News

January 21, 2013

Local nursing home fined by state corrects deficiencies

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A local nursing home, fined by state officials, has corrected serious deficiencies that might have put residents in jeopardy.

Edison Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, at 222 W. Edison Ave., was cited for not effectively managing/maintaining pharmaceutical services to provide prescribed medication to residents or providing drugs needed every day and in emergencies from a licensed pharmacist.

The facility was fined $1,950.

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Health website, Edison Manor has corrected that and the other 30 deficiencies cited at the facility from 2009 to 2012.

“That’s behind us now,” Gregory Nicoluzakis said of the medication problem. The Cleveland-based attorney is general counsel of Saber Healthcare Group, owner of the facility.

“We corrected the serious drug problems we were fined for,” he said, adding they had occurred in 2009.

Nicoluzakis said the basis of the problem was the breakdown of an out-of-state pharmacy vendor used at the time to supply the facility.

“A new drug supply company has been found and the problems are gone,” he said, adding, “It is important to note that no resident went without needed medications and no one was harmed. He have not had any similar incidents since.”

This was reiterated by Michael Jordan, Edison Manor administrator.

“As soon as we learned of the problems we jumped on it right away and resolved all issues.”

Jordan said a new pharmacy supplier has been in place for almost four years and “there are no issues. Everything is going well.”

He added the 118-bed facility is about 95 percent full.

Alison Delsite Everett of Pennsylvania Heath Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management, confirmed that Edison Manor acted immediately to correct identified problems.

“In a matter of days they discharged their former drug supply company and now contract with Omnicare, which supplies nursing homes across the United States,” she said. Everett added that the facility maintains a three-star rating and provides quality care to its residents.

ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news organization,analyzed the text of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services federal nursing home inspection reports, published online last summer. The reports cover 2009 through 2012, and identify problems found over that time period.

The full online report — Nursing Home Inspect: Find nursing home problems in your state — can be found on its website propublica.org.

According to the site, 11,469 deficiencies in 707 Pennsylvania nursing homes are identified, and $1.47 million in fines were collected.

Locally, 136 deficiencies were identified at 10 Lawrence County nursing homes over the years covered by the survey. Problems identified at local facilities are well below the national average of six to seven deficiencies per inspection.

Nursing homes are required to provide annual inspection results when requested.

All the local facilities have reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health that identified problems have been corrected or at least that a plan has been put into place to mend recognized problems.

Identified local deficiencies range from problems in obtaining medical supplies to potential for injuries to an infection of residents, along with posting recent survey and/or posting residents rights and phone numbers for advocate groups including legal services and Medicare fraud. Other identified deficiencies included handwashing practices of staff, maintaining residents’ privacy and confidentiality, misplaced laundry carts and patient complaints that included temperature of breakfast foods to sharing closet space with roommates.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)