Federal Government Fines Longview Nursing Home for Sexual Abuse
The Whispering Pines Lodge in Longview, Texas has been fined by the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services after a nurse was fired for allegedly sexually assaulting a resident on May 13, 2019, based on a Medicare inspection report. The report states that the nursing home failed to immediately respond to the resident’s accusations and contact the police. This delayed response, taking place from May 13-14, 2019, may have placed the resident and other patients in danger of further abuse from the alleged perpetrator.
This delayed response violates new federal regulations Section 483.12 for nursing home facilities placed into effect on October 4, 2016, which states that all facilities are required to protect residents from abuse and neglect, and investigate and report all instances of abuse.
The resident’s accusations have been supported by interviews with Whispering Pine Lodge nursing assistants and the medical assessment of a gynecologist after the resident was admitted to the emergency room for vaginal bleeding. A sexual assault forensic examination report was also filed at the emergency room.
The suspect was suspended and later fired after the accusations were reported to the Nursing Home Administrator and Director of Nursing. Police interviewed the suspect and collected evidence on May 5, 2019, but no arrest was made at that time.
1 in 10 individuals 60 years or older have reported abuse, based on a study published in the America Journal of Public Health in 2010, and 1 in 3 nursing homes were cited for actual harm to residents , according to a report made by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001. Continuous studies, investigations, and reforms are being made at a federal and state level to protect nursing home resident’s rights to a safe environment.