A Nampa nursing home failed a follow-up inspection and continued to place residents in “immediate jeopardy” several months after state inspectors found numerous life-threatening problems.
Holly Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center has until Jan. 18 to remedy health and safety violations or risk losing its ability to house any Medicare or Medicaid patients.
Meanwhile, Holly Lane’s total fines from the federal government have reached more than $900,000. That can be reduced by 35 percent if Holly Lane does not challenge the penalty.
The nursing home’s net patient revenues for calendar year 2015 were about $14 million, with about $1.1 million net income from patient services, according to documents obtained by the Statesman through a Freedom of Information Act request.
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During a week-long inspection in July, state inspectors said they found residents who were underfed and dehydrated, left to sit in their urine and feces, and deprived of help with grooming. Inspectors witnessed nursing employees ignoring or turning off patients’ call lights and placing the call-light buttons out of reach. One man had died after being rushed to the hospital.
As a result, Holly Lane was banned from taking new or returning Medicare and Medicaid patients until the nursing home could pass a follow-up inspection. It was allowed to keep its existing patients.
Since July, the number of people living at Holly Lane has dropped from 89 to 50, according to the state.
The state — which inspects health-care facilities on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — conducted a follow-up inspection the first week of October. It found Holly Lane out of compliance with 19 rules that are meant to protect residents, heal and rehabilitate them, keep their living areas safe and prevent infections, among other things.
Before the October inspection, the Idaho Health and Welfare Department’s Bureau of Facility Standards had “presumed” that the nursing home’s most serious problems had been fixed. That presumption was based on what Holly Lane’s administrators said they were doing to remedy the violations.
“However, based on on our on-site revisit, we found that your facility is not in substantial compliance with [the 19 rules],” said a Nov. 1 letter from the bureau.
“There are still issues, but overall the scope and severity decreased,” Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan said.
The most serious allegations included failure to investigate possible abuse or neglect of a patient and failure to run the nursing home in a way that supports “the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident.”
For example, the report said Holly Lane employees who noted torn skin on the breast of a quadriplegic patient did not question whether the woman, who could not communicate, had been abused or neglected.
“When asked specifically how the facility had determined through investigation that abuse or neglect had not occurred, the administrator stated, ‘I don’t know. I don’t have anything to do with that. It’s a clinical issue,’” the latest inspection report said. The administrator told inspectors that “the clinical team must have decided no further investigation was warranted.”
The nursing home is on its third administrator since the July violations were reported. The current administrator could not be reached Monday afternoon.
Several residents in October told the Statesman they were happy with the care they received at Holly Lane.
They were unsure how state inspectors could have found conditions so dangerous that Holly Lane was banned from taking new patients.
“This is our home,” said Lisa Kraipowich, who had lived at Holly Lane continuously for almost two years. “We’re of sound mind and body, and we wouldn’t be here and wouldn’t have stayed if it had been as bad as everybody portrayed it to be.”
But many people contacted the Statesman to report having seen or experienced the conditions that inspectors described.