Whispering Pines Lodge’s History of Negligence
Recently, the Whispering Pines Lodge in Longview, Texas was fined for not providing immediate action following the reported abuse by one of their residents by a staff member. The abuse was reported on May 13th, 2019, but the nursing home did not contact the police until the next day. This violated Section 483.12 of the Department of Health and Human Services’s rules and regulations regarding long-term care facilities, which was placed into effect across the U.S. on October 4th, 2016. The federal law outlines the steps nursing homes must take to protect residents, which includes instant action when presented with potential danger or abuse. The nursing home has had many more incidents before this most recent 2019 case.
Whispering Pines was given a hefty fine of $72,859 on September 14th, 2016. While the report on the incident that resulted in the fine is not available, it was given a G rating. The rating system for severity of harm done to a resident(s) or the level of the issue found within the nursing home follows an alphabetic range, with A being the lowest and L being the highest. A G rating indicates that there was harm done to the resident involved, but it did not cause immediate danger.
Their first offense after the implementation of Section 483.12 was only a few weeks later, on October 21st. No information is available for exactly what the offense was, but it was severe enough to warrant a G rating. Their next complaint, on November 30th, was given an H rating. Similar to the G rating, this means that a resident was harmed, but not in immediate danger. Unlike G, however, it also means that the issue is part of a pattern, rather than an isolated incident, and thus likely to happen again. This particular incident, of which no data is available, resulted in a $33,481 fine for Whispering Pines Lodge.
Less than a month later, on December 20th, there was another incident, where harm occurred to a resident, but it was determined they were in no immediate danger.
The nursing home seemed to have a quiet period where no incidents were reported until October 10th, 2017. In total, seven deficiencies were found, including staff not providing proper care for residents with incontinent bladders and catheters, good grooming practices were not implemented for residents who had difficulty getting out of bed, placing them at risk for bed sores and infections, as well as failing to serve sanitary food, and not retaining proper medical records for some residents, which is vital in making sure proper medication and treatment are provided.
Twenty days later, on the 30th of October, Whispering Pines was found to have not responded to reports of abuse for several residents. It was also determined that there was no program in place to ensure that any abuse reported was dealt with immediately in accordance with Section 483.12. Unlike their later offense in 2019, no fines were issued.
Skipping forward over a half year, Whispering Pines was fined once again after a resident suffering from dementia wandered out of the facility without any staff noticing on May 18th, 2018. He had managed to wander .2 miles away, having to push his walker over grass and coarse gravel, putting him at risk of tripping and becoming injured. The resident in question was only discovered to have left when he was nearly hit by a car. The driver managed to stop just in time and escorted him back to the nursing home. This resulted in a fine of $13,627.
An inspection report from the 2nd of August details Whispering Pines’s lack of sanitation. Several residents were not given treatment for pressure sores and infections. In fact, their conditions were not even reported. The facility also failed to maintain a program geared towards preventing and treating infections.
The final report available, before the May 2019 incident, is from October 19th. Whispering Pines Lodge did not update care plans for 6 residents. Care plans are an important part of ensuring that each resident is given the medical attention they need. By not updating them the nursing home risked improper treatment. Whispering Pines was fined $9,407 for this lack of basic care.
Whispering Pines Lodge has had a torrid history of negligence and abuse towards its residents. Not including the most recent penalty from May, the nursing home has been issued almost $130,000 in fines. Its residents deserve better. If you or a loved one have been mistreated, abused, or neglected by a nursing home contact Sorey, Gilliland & Hull LLP. We fight for our clients and make them our top priority. Call us today at (903) 207-5526 to ensure the rights of your loved ones are protected.