Feds: New York Nursing Home Medford Multicare Center for Living Allegedly Drugging Residents, Delaying DNRs

Medford Multicare Center for LivingMedford Multicare Center for Living, a nursing home in Medford, New York, is one of the worst-performing nursing homes in the country, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. In inspection reports archived by ProPublica, government inspectors allege serious deficiencies—including the overuse of psychiatric medications—that put residents at risk for elder abuse and neglect.

In a May 3, 2018 inspection report, government investigators reported that one resident of Medford Multicare Center for Living was receiving Risperidal—an anti-psychotic medication often used to treat schizophrenia—despite having no psychiatric diagnosis. While it is not clear if this resident had dementia, it should be noted that in elderly people with dementia, Rispridal can put them at increased risk for death. Yet the facility failed to “implement gradual dose reductions (GDR) and non-pharmacological interventions, unless contraindicated, prior to initiating or instead of continuing psychotropic medication….”

This is far from the only deficiency that surveyors discovered at Medford Multicare Center for Living. An inspection report from November 8, 2018 alleges that the facility did not implement Advance Directives promptly. According to the report, “the facility did not ensure that a plan of care to ensure the wishes of the resident’s representative regarding Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Do Not Resuscitat[e] (DNR) were initiated in a timely manner.”

Medford Multicare Center for LivingIn a June 12, 2018 inspection report, government investigators alleged that Medford Multicare Center for Living did not set up enough interventions to make sure residents didn’t wander off. Staff often didn’t respond to door alarms—when the alarms went off at all. According to the report, “door alarms observed on 7 of 39 alarmed doors throughout the building turned off within 9 – 11 seconds without the need to enter a code on the key pad to silence the alarms and facility staff did not respond to the activated door alarms upon testing of 3 out of 4 doors tested.”

In the May 3, 2018 report, government investigators identified several other deficiencies:

  • No Comprehensive Care Plan (CCP) was in place to monitor a resident’s ventriculostomy. According to the report, “The Primary Care Physician (PCP) for Resident #188 was interviewed on 05/03/18 at 2:15 PM. The physician stated she was familiar with Resident #188 and that the resident had a surgical procedure, Ventriclostomy [sic], and that the Ventriculostomy (EVD) should be monitored. The PCP stated the hospital had not sent instructions with the resident on discharge regarding monitoring of the Ventriculostomy (EVD). The PCP stated that the resident had been followed by Neurosurgery. The PCP stated that she would meet with the staff on the unit and develop a plan for monitoring Resident #188’s Ventriculostomy.”
  • Medford Multicare Center for Living allegedly failed to “ensure services provided by the nursing facility meet professional standards of
    ” For example, a resident was receiving oxygen, but there was no documentation regarding why the resident was placed on oxygen.
  • Hot meals were allegedly served cold, even though the facility was using a thermal pellet system.
  • Allegedly, the facility did not maintain sanitary conditions in the kitchen. The final rinse water temperature gauge was broken, which led to the dishes being watched as a lower temperature than required. A knife had gotten stuck in the dishwasher, causing it not to rinse. The hoods over the stoves were “rusted and soiled,” according to the report.
  • The facility allegedly did not ensure that an infection prevention and control program was properly carried out. Government inspectors observed an LPN, after performing care for a medical condition, “handle the bed control without removing his gloves and performing hand hygiene.”

From unsanitary conditions to the overuse of psychotropic drugs, government investigators found many problems with the Medford Multicare Center for Living, raising serious questions about the quality of care that residents are receiving. Medford Multicare Center for Living is a Special Focus Facility, meaning it has been under scrutiny by government inspectors.

If you have questions about Medford Multicare Center for Living or if you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to speak up. Call (877) 238-4175 or email to speak with an attorney.