Health & Medicine

Richmond nursing home joins feds' troubled list

The Richmond nursing home where the abuse of a resident was caught on a video camera hidden by her family has been placed on the federal government's list of 133 chronically troubled facilities in the United States.

Madison Manor nursing home joins two other Kentucky facilities — Cambridge Place in Lexington and Britthaven of Somerset — on the roster compiled by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Cambridge Place, which has been on the list for 27 months, and Britthaven, on for five months, are categorized as showing improvement during their last inspections.

The fact that Kentucky has three facilities on the list is troubling to Bernie Vonderheide, president of Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform.

"I'm concerned about Kentucky having any facilities on the list," said Vonderheide. "I think its shameful."

Madison Manor was placed on what's known as the the Special Focus Facility List because of consistent problems, said Beth Fisher, spokeswo-man for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

All of the facilities on the list have a history of serious problems and are included in a special federal program in which they are inspected twice as often as other nursing homes.

Fisher said that in addition to the abuse case, Madison Manor made the list "because of a history of non-compliance over the past three years."

Madison Manor, officially known as Richmond Health and Rehabilitation Complex-Madison, was cited for 25 deficiencies by the federal government during an inspection in 2008. The state average is seven deficiencies.

Cindi Simpson, regional director of operations at Extendicare Inc., the company that owns Madison Manor, said the facility now has a leadership team in place that has resulted in improved inspections.

"While we recognize that our center has had regulatory inconsistencies in the past, we firmly believe in providing high-quality care," Simpson said.

"We have invested significant resources to improve the care and services provided, including increasing staffing levels, improvements in the physical plant and re-training and educating our staff on policies, protocols and procedures."

The Kentucky Attorney General's office has filed criminal charges against three individuals in connection with conduct caught on a video camera placed in the room of Armeda Thomas, 84, in August. One person has pleaded guilty.

Thomas' relatives placed the video camera in her room after they found more than 30 unexplained bruises.

According to state records, the videotape shows nine nursing assistants at Madison Manor physically abusing Thomas and failing to feed and clean her.

The nurse's aides involved in the Thomas incident no longer work at the facility.

Britthaven of Somerset was cited by the federal government for 38 deficiencies in 2008. The facility also received a Type A citation, the most serious the state can give in January of that year, when a resident received a fractured shoulder when a shower chair malfunctioned and she fell.

The facility failed to maintain the equipment and to train staff on how to use it, according to the citation.

Britthaven officials did not immediately return a telephone call asking for comment.

Cambridge Place was cited for eight deficiencies in a federal inspection in December 2008.

In keeping Cambridge Place and Britthaven on the list as they show significant improvement, federal officials are waiting to see whether the improvement continues.

Olive Allen, executive director of Cambridge Place, said that facility has had several good recent inspections.

"We are showing dramatic improvement," she said. "We have an excellent staff."