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Pennsylvania Cracking Down on Nursing Home Violations, Spike in Fines Shows

Posted September 11, 2017 | PA Nursing Home News

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for nursing home oversight. When a nursing home violation occurs, such as an employee engaging in nursing home abuse, the DOH has authority to penalize the home with fines or other sanctions. A recent analysis of DOH sanctions revealed a spike from previous years, indicating that, in a victory for Pennsylvania’s elderly, the Department is getting tougher on noncompliant facilities. However, while this shift marks a step towards better protection of nursing home residents, it also reflects a troubling reality where nursing home violations are widespread. A Philadelphia nursing home lawyer examines the sanctions in closer detail.

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2017 Brings Increased Penalties for Pennsylvania Nursing Homes

During the first six months of 2017, the DOH imposed roughly $800,000 in fines on various nursing homes. Remarkably, that’s more than the amount imposed during 2014, 2015, and 2016 combined.

Figures within the nursing home industry have implied that the sanctions are excessive, such as W. Russ McDaid, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, who said that, instead of “work with facilities to ensure resident care is enhanced,” the DOH’s “unfortunate” approach “has been to sanction, sanction, sanction.”

For elderly Pennsylvanians, the spike in penalties reflects a statewide push toward a better, safer system where violations are less likely to be overlooked. The surge in enforcement represents a win not only for the victims of abuse and nursing home neglect, but for all seniors who will enter nursing homes in Pennsylvania this year.

Pennsylvania Nursing Homes Fined for Violations in 2017

In the interest of transparency, sanctions against nursing homes are part of the public record. Below, you’ll find a partial list of Pennsylvania nursing homes that have been fined in 2017, including the facility locations and the fine amounts imposed.

Depending on the nature and severity of each violation, some facilities were fined as little as $1,500, while others were fined more than $20,000. The list below includes only facilities that were fined $10,000 or more.

In cases where the same facility was repeatedly fined, fines have been combined into a final total. For example, Downingtown’s St. Martha Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare was fined $13,000 on January 17 and $19,500 on January 24, for a combined total of $32,500 in fines.

  • January 2017
    • Athens Health and Rehabilitation Center (Athens, PA) – $13,500
    • Forbes Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Pittsburgh, PA) – $30,250 (fine of $21,250, fine of $9,000)
    • The Grove at Irwin (Irwin, PA) – $20,750 (fine of $10,750, fine of $3,750, fine of $6,250)
    • Hearthside Rehabilitation Center (State College, PA) – $16,500
    • Lackawanna Health and Rehabilitation Center (Olyphant, PA) – $15,000
    • The Meadows at Stroud for Nursing and Rehabilitation, LLC (Stroudsburg, PA) – $15,750
    • The Pavilion at St. Luke Village (Hazleton, PA) – $10,500
    • St. Martha Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Downingtown, PA) – $32,500
    • Suburban Woods Health and Rehabilitation Center (Norristown, PA) – $20,500
  • February 2017
    • Elkins Crest Health and Rehabilitation Center (Elkins Park, PA) – $13,250
    • The Grove at Latrobe (Latrobe, PA) – $11,750
    • Highland Manor Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (Exeter, PA) – $11,250
    • Loyalhanna Care Center (Latrobe, PA) – $12,000
    • Manorcare Health Services – Chambersburg (Chambersburg, PA) – $12,500
    • Mountain Laurel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Clearfield, PA) – $17,250 (fine of $6,000, fine of $11,250)
    • Oxford Health Center (Oxford, PA) – $13,250
    • Riverside Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (Taylor, PA) – $14,000
  • March 2017
    • Brandywine Hall (West Chester, PA) – $13,250
    • The Inn at Freedom Village (West Brandywine Township, PA) – $14,500
    • Lutheran Home at Kane (Kane, PA) – $10,000
    • Philadelphia Nursing Home (Philadelphia, PA) – $13,000
  • April 2017
    • The Gardens at Lititz (Lititz, PA) – $12,500
    • Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation (New Castle, PA) – $11,750
    • Manorcare Health Services – Wallingford (Wallingford, PA) – $10,000
    • Meyersdale Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center (Meyersdale, PA) – $13,750
    • Pembrooke Health and Rehabilitation Center (West Chester, PA) – $11,500
    • Phoenixville Care and Rehabilitation Center (Phoenixville, PA) – $13,250
    • St. John Neumann Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Philadelphia, PA) – $10,000
    • St. Monica Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Philadelphia, PA) – $13,500
    • Towne Manor East (Norristown, PA) – $12,000
    • United Zion Retirement Community (Lititz, PA) – $10,500

According to DOH records, no nursing home sanctions of $10,000 or higher were imposed in May, June, or July of 2017.

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Get Legal Help from a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in Philadelphia

While some nursing homes do improve dramatically after being fined, sanctions don’t always succeed in improving the level of care provided at a facility. Indeed, careful inspection of DOH records shows that some facilities have been sanctioned more than once.

If you’re worried that a family member or loved one has been neglected and suffered serious injuries at a nursing home, you should speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal options. Call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (877) 654-3887 for a free legal consultation.

*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*