Last month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer announced that the Office of the Attorney General would lead a lawsuit against Pittsburgh-based Grane Healthcare for failing to provide adequate patient care at 11 out of 12 of its skilled nursing home facilities. Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand reports on the care violations alleged in the suit, and explains how concerned relatives can file a complaint against Grane facilities.
PA Attorney General Sues Pittsburgh Healthcare Company for Nursing Home Violations
According to its website, Grane Healthcare currently operates 12 skilled nursing facilities in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit against Grane alleges violations at 11 of these facilities, including:
- Altoona Center for Nursing Care (Altoona)
- Cambria Care Center (Ebensburg)
- Colonial Park Care Center (Harrisburg)
- HarmarVillage Care Center (Cheswick)
- Harmon House Care Center (Mount Pleasant)
- Highland Park Center Center (Pittsburgh)
- Kittanning Care Center (Kittanning)
- LaurelWood Care Center (Johnstown)
- Providence Care Center (Beaver Falls)
- Riverside Care Center (McKeesport)
- Woodhaven Care Center (Monroeville)
A Grane facility not involved in the suit is its Greensburg Care Center, which is located in Greensburg.
In addition to multiple violations pertaining to poor quality patient care, the lawsuit also alleges that Grane engaged in deceptive advertising practices by advertising a better resident-to-caregiver ratio than was actually available at its facilities. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the following violations:
- Delayed bathroom assistance from staff members caused residents to urinate or defecate in their clothing.
- Facilities altered their records to show that residents received care which was never administered.
- Incontinent residents were allowed to remain in soiled clothing for hours at a time.
- Instead of being repositioned in bed every two hours, which is important to prevent bedsores, residents were only repositioned every three to four hours, waiting twice as long as they should have.
- Residents were left in their pajamas all day due to short-staffing.
- Residents were underfed, and in some instances missed meals altogether, due to short-staffing.
- Residents were woken up to be showered and dressed as early as 5:00 A.M. due to day shift short-staffing.
- Staff members inappropriately used chemical restraints – in other words, overmedication with sedative drugs – in order to subdue and manage residents, a practice which is expressly prohibited by state law.
“These alleged misrepresentations not only deceived the residents of these facilities,” said Beemer, “but Grane’s business practices also degraded residents and increased the risk of negative health consequences. We believe there is ample evidence that these facilities fell far short when it came to providing essential services.”
The Skilled Nursing page of Grane’s website features a list of frequently asked questions. In response to the question “How often does a doctor see a patient at the facilities?” the website is vague, stating only, “A doctor sees a patient as often as is medically necessary. Insurance companies may also make recommendations on how often a patient should be seen.” The response to the question “How much therapy does a resident receive at these facilities?” is nearly identical: “A resident typically receives as much therapy as is medically necessary.”
While litigation is pending, the Attorney General’s Office is encouraging concerned family members of Grane facility residents to report violations and file complaints. You can report a complaint about a Grane skilled nursing facility by calling (877) 888-4877, which will connect you with the healthcare division of the Attorney General’s Office.
You can also file a complaint over the internet. To file a complaint online, follow these steps:
- Visit the website for the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General: attorneygeneral (dot) gov (slash) Home.
- Click the “Consumers” link in the toolbar.
- Click the “File a Complaint” link.
- Click the “Health Care Complaint Form” link.
- Read the instructions on the page carefully. Once you have read the instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the link that says “Click here to file a Health Care Complaint online.” This will direct you to the submission form.
Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Injury Victims in PA and NJ
Unfortunately, Grane is not alone in operating nursing home facilities that fail to adequately care for residents. On the contrary, nursing home violations are common in Pennsylvania, particularly in large facilities that have poor resident-to-staff ratios. Nursing home understaffing equates to a lack of supervision, which can lead to serious injuries and accidents, such as bedsores, nursing home falls, and in extreme cases, even wrongful death.
If you believe your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather was injured or killed due to neglectful nursing home care or malpractice, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer or Philadelphia wrongful death attorney immediately for assistance. Compensation may be available for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To arrange a free and confidential legal consultation, call Philadelphia nursing home neglect attorney Brent Wieand at (888) 789-3161.
*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.*