All Lawrence County’s nursing homes are in compliance with state and federal regulations, according to state health department reports.
It is not clear, then, why a law firm that specializes in nursing home litigation ran a full page ad in the News on Feb. 17, singling out one facility for citations that date back to 2011. The ad invites families to call “for a free consultation.”
According to the most recent reports on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, the number of state “deficiency” citations for patient care at Edison Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation, 222 W. Edison Ave., are comparable to other nursing homes in the county.
The state agency is in charge of overseeing nursing homes. It “surveys” or conducts unannounced annual inspections, and conducts additional inspections in response to complaints.
The surveys cover many issues, including food storage, treatment of residents, cleanliness and quality of care. Any deficiencies must be corrected or the regular license is pulled and a provisional license issued.
According to the state health department website, no Lawrence County nursing home has had its license pulled. All are operating on regular licenses.
A check of the state health department website shows that Edison Manor has corrected every citation listed in the Feb. 17 advertisement, and every citation listed since 2006, the first year listed on the website.
Additionally none of the citations were judged to have caused serious harm to a resident, according to the website. They were all classified as “no harm” or “minimal harm.”
The website shows that every nursing home in Lawrence County has received citations and all have been corrected.
The comparison of Lawrence County nursing homes, going back to 2006, shows that Edison Manor, with 118 beds, had 20 citations, while Golden Hill (204 beds) had 18, Avalon Nursing Center (83 beds) had 9, Haven Convalescent Home (91 beds) had 4, Jameson Care Center Inc. (78 beds) had 15, Jameson Memorial Hospital Transitional Care Unit (20 beds) had 9, Overlook Health and Rehabilitation Center (115 beds) had 25, Shenango Presbyterian Senior Care (25 beds) had 3, and Silver Oaks, (62 beds) had 9.
Building safety deficiency citations are not included in those totals.
The state health department website states that the purpose of deficiency citations is “to determine ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements which is a condition of licensure and certification.”
If the facility submits a plan to correct the deficiency, it may continue to operate and receive Medicare and Medicaid payments, it goes on to say.
A plan of correction, however, is “not an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the facility ... for a private lawsuit...” according to the website.
“The Department also does not intend for its inspection reports to be used in advertisements for legal services or as a basis for solicitations of any type,” the website states.
All state health department inspection records and corrective actions are available to the public at http://app2.health.state.pa.us/commonpoc/nhLocatorie.asp.
In addition, Medicare nursing home ratings can be found at www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.
Attempts to reach the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., which ran the advertisement, were unsuccessful. Their website lists offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Attempts to reach officials from Edison Manor also were unsuccessful.