The Hughey Law Firm has successfully pursued claims against this facility.
When you or your loved one is paying almost $2,000 a week to get care at NHC Healthcare – Lexington, you expect care. When the corporation that runs the facility instead cuts corners to squeeze out a little more profit, or hires and fails to properly supervise employees who abuse your loved one, call the Hughey Law Firm’s nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers.
We can stand up for you and your loved one. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and discuss your legal options. We have res
About NHC Healthcare – Lexington
The Hughey Law Firm has successfully pursued claims against this facility.
NHC Healthcare – Lexington is a large, for-profit nursing home facility in West Columbia, South Carolina. The facility features 170 certified beds. The average daily amount the facility bills to medicare per resident is $487.28. The average amount paid by Medicare after deductibles and coinsurance is $274.93 per day. The average stay at this facility, including short stay residents as well as those requiring long-term care is 30.7 days. The average age of residents at the facility is 81 years old.
Many of the residents have needs which require special care, including:
- Atrial fibrillation: 29.53 percent;
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): 25.168 percent;
- Osteoporosis: 22.483 percent;
- Alzheimer’s: 42.617 percent;
- Depression: 45.47 percent;
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis: 72.819 percent;
- Asthma: 18.121 percent;
- Diabetes: 42.45 percent;
- Schizophrenia: 9.899 percent;
- Cancer: 18.96 percent;
- Hyperlipidemia: 67.114 percent;
- Stroke: 16.779 percent;
- Congestive heart failure: 42.114 percent; and
- Ischemic heart disease: 59.396 percent.
March 2017 Inspection
In March 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) annual health inspection of NHC Healthcare – Lexington yielded three deficiencies, as described below:
- Failure to immediately tell the resident, the resident’s doctor and family members about situations that affect the resident. The facility failed to inform family members of worsening pressure sores on a resident who was admitted with pressure sores from another facility. The director of nursing stated that the family was informed, but staff were unable to locate the wound sheets completed for the resident, so there was no documentation regarding the family being told about the worsening condition.
- Failure to store, cook, and serve food in a safe and clean way. During observation and interviews, CMS inspectors discovered that a dietary aide did not use proper hand washing techniques while working in the kitchen when they failed to put on gloves to place plastic wrap on food. The dietary aide was using splints on both hands and was observed washing their hands with the splints on, contrary to proper procedure.
- Failure to keep accurate, complete and organized clinical records on each resident that meet professional standards. CMS inspectors discovered that staff failed to have the proper wound assessment documentation in a resident’s weekly record.
While the facility received no citations or penalties for these deficiencies, the facility did receive a $10,000 penalty in 2017, although documentation regarding what the penalty was for is unavailable.
August 2018 Inspection
The August 2018 CMS inspection revealed five deficiencies, which were:
- Failure to honor the resident’s right to a dignified existence, self-determination, communication, and to exercise their rights. Through observations and interviews, CMS inspectors discovered that staff members failed to honor the resident’s rights to a dignified existence by not waiting for permission to enter after knocking on doors, failing to knock before entering, and yelling “knock knock” while entering.
- Failure to assess the resident when there is a significant change in condition. Through records review and interviews, CMS inspectors discovered that the staff failed to inform the state agency that a patient had been admitted to hospice. The facility submitted corrected documentation to the state agency with the proper notation as to the resident’s admission to hospice.
- Failure to develop and implement a complete care plan that meets all the resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured. Observations, record review, and interviews revealed that a resident had hand splints in place to treat contractures. However, there were no notations in the resident’s records regarding plans to address the hand splints in spite of a written care plan goal that the resident would maintain their current level of mobility.
- Failure to provide pharmaceutical services to meet the needs of each resident and employ or obtain the services of a licensed pharmacist. CMS inspectors discovered during the inspection that the facility’s consulting pharmacist failed to provide pharmaceutical oversight as they were contracted to do, resulting in the improper storage of medication in three storage rooms, no education of staff about the proper storage of medication, and no documentation or follow up to rectify the situation. Inspectors discovered that medicine was being stored at lower temperatures than required. When staff were asked if they knew the proper temperature for storing insulin, they stated no. The consulting pharmacist stated that they had no concerns about the temperature of the stored medication, and the director of plant operations had no knowledge about temperature fluctuations that had occurred in the medication storage refrigerators.
- Failure to ensure drugs and biologicals used in the facility are labeled in accordance with currently accepted professional principles and that all drugs and biologicals are stored in locked compartments, with separate locked compartments for controlled drugs. Inspectors discovered that expired medications were stored in medication refrigerators and that the refrigerators were not maintaining the proper storage temperature indicated on the manufacturer’s labeled directions.
Paying for a Nursing Home
Nursing homes can be extraordinarily expensive, particularly if your loved one requires a high level of care. Medicare usually doesn’t cover long-term stays at nursing homes, although it will cover hospital care, doctor’s services, and medical supplies for residents while they’re staying in the facility. Generally, those staying in nursing homes begin by paying for the residency OUT OF POCKET.
There are other options as well, including:
- Medicaid: Medicaid helps pay medical costs for people with limited income and financial resources. While the Medicaid program, which is state and federally funded, varies from state to state, some state programs provide coverage for nursing home care. Not all nursing homes accept Medicaid, however, so it is important to ask the facility you’re considering whether they do. Many states provide higher coverage through Medicaid for nursing home residents, and you may find that your loved one is eligible for coverage while in the nursing home even if they have not qualified for coverage in the past. Medicaid is also an important resource if you’ve been paying for nursing home care out-of-pocket but are running out of resources.
- Long-term care insurance: This is a type of insurance policy used to cover the costs of many different types of care including skilled and unskilled care. The services covered by this type of insurance vary according to each policy, with some policies only covering the actual nursing home residency costs, while others may include a range of services. It is important to verify that the nursing home you’re interested in for your loved one accepts your coverage, ensuring that the coverage is not limited due to a pre-existing condition and that the services your loved one will need are part of the coverage your policy includes.
- Life insurance: Some insurance providers allow their insured to use a life insurance policy to cover the cost of nursing home care. You will need to check with your provider to see if this is an option that is available for your loved one.
Choosing a Nursing Home
Choosing a nursing home for your loved one is not a decision to be arrived at lightly. There are other facilities available, some of which may provide better quality of care, more services, or have consistently good annual health inspections. According to the National Institute on Aging, you will want to:
- Ask which features are important to you and your loved one. Do you want to ensure that the nursing home facility your loved one moves to provides high quality meals? Do you want an extra emphasis placed on physical therapy for your loved one? Do you have a religious connection that you’d like the facility to honor and represent? Do you want the facility to be close to friends and family members so that your loved one has plenty of visitors?
- Talk to family and friends. Do you know someone who is currently residing in a nursing facility? Solicit opinions on specific facilities and ask questions about homes that people you know may have experience with.
- Make a list of potential facilities and call them. Ask about the cost of services, the availability of beds, and whether or not the facility has a waiting list.
- Visit facilities. Schedule your visit so that you can meet with the director and the nursing director. Some things you should ensure the facility has when you visit include Medicare/ Medicaid certification, handicap access, and residents who appear well cared for and have positive interactions with staff members. Don’t be afraid to ask questions while you’re there, and make a note of issues such as strong odors. Find out how long the director and other administrators have been at the facility and what the staff turnover rate is. Remember that consistent caretakers are important, as they tend to be better trained and so that your loved one has the opportunity to get to know their caretakers.
- Make a second visit on a different day, at a different time of day, so you have more opportunities to see the day-to-day routine at the facility. Don’t schedule the visit this time, simply drop in, as this allows you to witness unrehearsed interactions. Consider stopping by during a meal time, so that you can see how clean the dining room is, the quality of the food being served, and staff organization when serving meals, and whether residents have the opportunity to share meals with others.
- When you’ve selected a nursing home, be sure to read the contract carefully before signing it. If there is something in the contract that you don’t understand, be sure to ask the director to clarify it for you.
How Do You File a Complaint Against a Nursing Home?
If you are concerned about the care, treatment, and services that you or your loved one received—or didn’t receive—at a nursing home, you should file a complaint. Reasons for filing a complaint include suspected abuse, neglect, poor care, inadequate staffing at the facility, unsafe or unsanitary conditions, mistreatment, or problems with meal service.
Complaints should be filed with the state survey agency and can be made in writing, in person, or by phone. Information about the state survey agency in South Carolina can be found here.
The state survey agency in South Carolina offers the following instructions as to when to report a complaint:
- Within two hours: Abuse of any kind should be reported by the facility within two hours, including a description of any significant injury the resident suffered.
- Within 24 hours: Complaints that don’t involve serious injury or the immediate risk of harm must be reported within 24 hours or the next business day.
- Within five working days: All complaints made against nursing home facilities are to be investigated and reported to the Certification agency within five working days after the initial report.
Call the Hughey Law Firm for help filing any of that paperwork and about any other legal options you have.
If a nursing facility resident faces immediate risk of harm, contact law enforcement right away.
Call Hughey Law’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
If your loved one was injured at NHC Healthcare – Lexington as a result of neglect or abuse, let us explain the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us at (843) 881-8644 or email us here to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.
Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464