Nursing home worker accused of abusing patient

A former nursing assistant was charged Monday in connection with the abuse of a patient at Britthaven Nursing Home in Pineville, according to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Lynwood C. Bauer, 27, of Middlesboro was charged with one count of reckless abuse of an adult.

The criminal complaint alleges that in September, Bauer recklessly inflicted physical pain and injury on a Britt haven resident while working as a certified nursing assistant at the facility, officials in Conway's office said.

When asked for documents related to the case, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided a report from the inspector general's office that did not name the nursing assistant, but referred to the same circumstances.

The report said a male resident was paralyzed on the left side of his body from a stroke and that his treatment plan called for him to be moved with a mechanical lift by two staff people.

The nursing assistant, presumed to be Bauer, told investigators he moved the male resident from a chair to the bed without the lift or help from staff. The nursing assistant then left the resident sitting on the edge of the bed while he walked across the room, according to the report.

The assistant said he did not check the man's treatment plan and did not know he was paralyzed, according to the report.

When the resident fell from his bed, the nursing assistant told investigators, he put the man back to bed with no assistance from other staff. In addition to the man's treatment plan, nursing home policy requires that after falls, residents be assessed for injuries before they are moved.

When other members of the nursing staff came into the room after the injury, they discovered that the resident had "raised" and "red painful areas" on the back of the head, and his left shoulder, rib cage, hip and knee, according to Cabinet documents.

The resident was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a Tennessee hospital where he later died, state records show.

Bauer is in the Bell County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond, jail officials said.

The charge is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail. It is the result of an investigation by the Attorney General's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control.

Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet, said the inspector general's office did not issue a Type A citation — the most serious that can be given — in the case.

But investigators cited the nursing home for two deficiencies, she said, one for actual harm and another for failure to report the incident immediately to the cabinet's inspector general.

Britthaven officials declined to comment.

Cabinet documents show that the nursing home fired the nursing assistant the day the resident was injured.

Additionally, nursing home officials told Cabinet investigators that the staff had received additional training and that new procedures were in place so that state officials were promptly notified of alleged incidents of abuse or neglect.

The 115-bed facility is part of the Britthaven chain, according to its Web site. The Pineville facility received three stars, denoting an average rating, on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating system.