If you are looking for a short term rehabilitation or long term care facility for your loved one in South Carolina, it pays to do your research. Several websites now provide the ability for you to look at the health, safety, and fire inspections of nursing facilities in your area. If Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is on your list of facilities to check out, here is some information that we were able to find.

Meanwhile, if you or your loved one are already living there and suffered an injury due to careless or reckless actions on the part of the facility or its staff, please give the Hughey Law Firm a call. We’d love to help you.

About Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

The Hughey Law Firm has successfully pursued claims against this facility.

Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is a facility in Columbia, South Carolina, offering short term rehabilitation and long term care. The 132-bed facility’s short term rehabilitative care is rated above average and the facility has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Nursing Homes list for its high short term rehab ratings. Its long term services have received an average rating.

The facility is owned by a for-profit corporation and it accepts Medicaid and Medicare-covered residents. It has not been fined for any health or safety violations in the past three years.

Heartland of Columbia obtained a rating of three out of three stars for its short term rehabilitative care, with findings that included: Heartland’s number of patients needing emergency care while at the facility was higher than the national and state averages, at 21.2 percent compared to 10.7 and 12.1 percent respectively. In this category, the lower number is better.

With their long term care facility, U.S. News & World Report revealed the following:

  • Heartland’s long term care residents received 3 hours and 55 minutes of nurse staffing each day, which is less than the state average.
  • Heartland’s long term care residents fared a bit worse when it came to maintaining their mobility. 84.3 percent of the residents were able to maintain the ability to move, eat, use the bathroom and complete other activities independently over time, while the statewide average is 85.6 percent and the national average is 85.3 percent.
  • The long term care program at Heartland of Columbia had a low or reasonable amount of complaints.

May 2016 Inspection

The May 2016 routine health inspection of the facility uncovered the following violations, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  • Failure to conduct initial and periodic assessments of each resident’s functional capacity. This deficiency was found to affect few residents and presented a low potential for resident harm.
  • Failure to provide necessary care and services to maintain or improve the highest well being of each resident. This deficiency was also found to present a low potential for resident harm and only affected a few residents.

February 2017 Inspection

During the February 2017 routine health inspection of the facility, the following deficiencies were discovered:

  • Failure to conduct initial and periodic assessments of each resident’s functional capacity. Statements and interviews conducted during the inspection revealed that staff at the facility failed to properly assess a terminal prognosis for three of its residents reviewed for hospice and eight residents identified as receiving hospice services. To receive hospice services at the facility, a physician must sign a document to be placed in the resident’s medical file stating that he or she is expected to live less than six months. Records and statements show that, in some cases, residents were receiving hospice care without having signed documentation indicating that they had less than six months to live. Other cases involved residents whose assessments were not completed properly.

  • Failure to store, cook, and serve food in a safe and clean way
    . The inspection revealed two five-pound containers of tuna salad in the facility’s walk-in refrigerator that were expired, as well as a tray of uncovered fruit cocktail containers stored on a shelf with a box of food stored right above it. Inspectors also observed a container of pimento cheese that was open but not fully sealed. The food storage issues were addressed immediately, and all improperly stored food was thrown out.

June 2018 Inspection

There were no violations or deficiencies found during the June 2018 inspection.

August 2019 Inspection

The most recent health inspection performed on Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center revealed a violation:

  • Failure to provide timely notification to the resident, and if applicable to the resident representative and ombudsman, before transfer or discharge, including appeal rights. A review of records, along with staff interviews, revealed that the facility failed to ensure that some of its residents were provided a written reason why they were transferred to the hospital, written in language that they could understand. Inspectors found multiple circumstances where the reason for the transfer to the hospital wasn’t included with the Facility Initiated Discharge or the written Notice of Transfer. The violation was found to have affected only a small number of residents, with little potential of harm to the resident.

Fire and Safety Inspections

  • The May 2016 inspection uncovered the following violations:
    • Facility does not have corridor and hallway doors that block smoke.
    • facility does not have smoke barrier doors that can resist smoke for at least 20 minutes.
    • facility does not have exits that are accessible at all times.
    • facility does not have weekly inspections and monthly testing of generators.
  • The February 2017 inspection revealed no fire and safety violations.
  • The June 2018 inspection noted the following fire and safety violations:
    • Facility failed to ensure that special areas are constructed so that walls can resist fire for one hour or have an approved fire extinguishing system.
    • facility failed to install corridor and hallway doors that block smoke.
    • facility failed to ensure proper usage of power strips and extension cords.

About the Best Nursing Homes Rating

On any given day, more than 1.3 million people are given care at one of the approximately 15,000 nursing homes across the United States. Most of these individuals receive one of the following types of care at the facility:

  • Short term rehabilitative care following hospitalization for surgery, heart attack, stroke, or injury.
  • Long term care for individuals who are no longer able to live independently and need medical supervision.

According to U.S. News & World Report, South Carolina has 189 nursing homes. Of those, ONLY 24 received a perfect rating of five out of five stars. Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received a rating of four out of five stars. The criteria used to determine the performance of nursing homes in the country includes:

  • The availability and consistency of nursing staff
  • The availability of specialists, such as Registered Nurses or physical therapists
  • The rate of substantiated complaints
  • The amount of patient-centered rehabilitation therapy
  • Appropriate administration of the flu and pneumonia vaccines
  • Use of antipsychotic, anxiety, and hypnotic medications
  • Prevention of falls
  • Percentage of long term residents whose mobility did not increase over time
  • Prevention of pressure ulcers in long term and high risk residents

All that said, even the best nursing homes can make preventable mistakes that injure or kill their residents. If that happens, our skilled nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help you hold the nursing home accountable and recover compensation for you.

What Should I Look for in a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes are also known as skilled nursing facilities or long term care facilities. These facilities may provide short term care, long term care, or both. Most often, the residents are not sick enough to be in the hospital, but are unable to live independently and need medical supervision. Services provided by these facilities include:

  • Room and board.
  • Medication monitoring, to ensure that the resident is receiving the medication he or she needs at the time in which he or she needs to take it.
  • Personal care, including assistance with bathing, dressing, and using the toilet.
  • Emergency care provided 24/7 by nursing staff at the facility who also facilitate transfer to the hospital emergency department when necessary.
  • Social services, including mental health counseling and therapy.
  • Physical and occupational therapy to assist residents in improved mobility.
  • Social activities, including organized events designed for the residents’ enjoyment and need for social interaction.

When choosing a nursing home, some of the criteria you should use to evaluate the facilities in your area include:

  • The facility is licensed and certified by the state.
  • The facility has a good safety record overall, and complaints have been reported to the state agency responsible for conducting inspections. Investigations have been undertaken and any issues that arose during the investigation have been corrected.
  • The nursing home is clean and well maintained and the residents look like they are well cared for.
  • Ample staff members can care for the needs of all of the residents at the facility.
  • Many services are provided, and the facility is transparent about the costs of these services.
  • The nursing home has been in business long enough to have undergone satisfactory annual inspections, and the administration brings a wealth of leadership and experience with nursing home facilities.
  • A variety of food is offered and residents enjoy the meals that are provided.
  • The rooms are accessible to those with disabilities.
  • The facility cares for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • The facility provides social activities that are appealing to residents.

If Heartland of Columbia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Hurt You or a Loved One, Call Our Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers

Selecting a nursing home for your loved one is a huge decision. If you have concerns about the care your loved one has received at a long term care or short term rehabilitation facility, we would be happy to discuss your legal options with you. We’re not afraid to take on nursing homes with good reputations, good inspection reports, or deep pockets when they abuse or neglect their residents. We’ve recovered compensation for hundreds of people just like you, and would love to help you, too. You can reach us at (843) 881-8644 or online.

Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843-881-8644