By Dominic Adams | firstname.lastname@example.org
April 11, 2017
Photo courtesy of MLive.com
GRAND BLANC, MI -- Attorneys for a state-appointed group assigned to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect against people with disabilities are seeking a permanent injunction against a Grand Blanc nursing home that would force the facility to hand over records.
The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service filed the motion on April 5 in Detroit U.S. District Court as part of a civil lawsuit the group previously filed against Medilodge of Grand Blanc.
Medilodge of Grand Blanc is a provider of long-term skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation solutions, according to its website. Officials with the company could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit stemmed from a complaint MPAS received in October claiming a man with physical and neurological impairments that resulted from a stroke was neglected while staying at Medilodge of Grand Blanc.
Allegations were made that the man had not been receiving proper treatment that caused him to be taken to a hospital after being found unresponsive at the facility, court documents show. The man died the following day.
MPAS said in the lawsuit that it had probable cause to open an investigation into the allegations of possible neglect or abuse at Medilodge.
MPAS opened an investigation into Medilodge of Grand Blanc based on these allegations and has sought documents from the facility in connection with this case and other investigations into suspected abuse, according to court documents.
After the attorney for Medilodge continually refused to turn over documents to MPAS, the advocacy group was forced to file the civil lawsuit, MPAS attorney Andrea Rizor said in the brief.
She declined further comment to MLive-The Flint Journal on Monday, April 10.
Incomplete records were then handed over to MPAS after the lawsuit was filed.
"Medilodge facilities have a long history of interfering with plaintiff's right to receive timely access to records by wholly ignoring plaintiff's requests or delaying the production of records for extended periods of time, often exceeding several months," the brief in support of the injunction read. "This is yet another example of that practice. Even when records are provided after lengthy delays, they are often minimal and incomplete as here."
There have been several complaints alleging neglect of residents at Medilodge of Grand Blanc, according to court documents, one of which alleged neglect that led to the death of a patient.
That complaint involved Medilodge of Grand Blanc staff allegedly failing to respond to a patient's request for assistance, resulting in the patient's roommate calling 911 after realizing facility staff failed to turn on the patient's ventilator that allegedly resulted in suffocation and death of the resident, according to court documents.
State surveyors at Medilodge on March 15 were following up on a complaint and found numerous instances of the improper administration of medications, according to the state's Bureau of Community and Health Systems.
A confidential source told inspectors that a patient was given two doses of medication at once after missing the earlier dose. That patient had a seizure the next day and had to go to the hospital, according to state's report.
The nurse who allegedly administered the medication was no longer working at Medilodge at the time of the visit, state documents said.
"We know we have a problem," an unnamed director of nursing and administration is cited in the report telling state inspectors in March. "It is a combination of things."
The injunction would stop Medilodge from interfering with MPAS' mandate to provide protection and advocacy services to its clients and provide immediate access to records.
A Genesee County nursing home that is the subject of a federal lawsuit involving a resident's death is accused of providing inadequate care, according to a state report.
Surveys conducted at Medilodge of Grand Blanc in January by the state's Bureau of Community and Health Systems accused the facility of improper conduct, including failing to provide personal hygiene for some residents, failing to investigate reports of injuries and failing to turn or reposition patients to prevent ulcers.
The 69-page state report resulting from the January surveys details other accusations against the facility, including:
- providing substandard quality of care
- failing to investigate reports of an injury
- not ensuring an enteral feeding tube was changed
- leaving soiled linens on the floor in patient's rooms
"It feels like there isn't enough staff to help," the report quotes one resident. "I didn't get up for breakfast today because there wasn't anyone to help me."
The report also claims Medilodge failed to give out medications to patients, didn't give patients showers, baths or provide dental hygiene and didn't offer adequate staffing levels.
A Feb. 23 letter from state investigators recommends Medilodge of Grand Blanc be fined $903 per day beginning Feb. 8 until it is determined by the Bureau of Community and Health Systems that the nursing home is in compliance with state and federal long-term care requirements.
A May investigation also by the state also found Medilodge was not in compliance with federal nursing home standards. There were no fines associated with the investigation, however, the facility was given corrective actions to take.
Medilodge also was on the brink of losing Medicaid and Medicare payments in 2016 because of violation of federal nursing home standards, however, the facility made the corrective actions recommended, according to state documents.
Anyone suspecting mistreatment of people at nursing homes can call the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. for free legal advice anonymously at 1-800-288-5923.