Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer
As we age, our bodies inevitably become more vulnerable to physical injury. Due to degenerative aging processes, our joints, bones, and muscles may begin to deteriorate. Even everyday activities can become increasingly dangerous. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for elderly Americans. One in four adults at the age of 65 or older experience at least one fall every year. Falls account for 2.8 million injuries and 800,000 hospitalizations annually. After a fall or serious injury, a skilled nursing facility can help your elderly loved one get back on their feet.
Unfortunately, many assisted-care facilities fail to maintain even the basic standard of care expected across the industry. Even more troubling, oftentimes, it is difficult to detect which facilities fail to provide adequate care at first glance. Diligently researching potential facilities may reveal alarming deficiencies.
At Hughey Law Firm, we regularly fight for the rights of victims who have been injured by care facilities that fall short. Of course, our firm cannot guarantee results in future cases, but we have successfully litigated against Opus Post-Acute Rehab.
About Opus Post-Acute Rehab
Opus Post-Acute Rehab located in West Columbia, South Carolina, is a medium-sized skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility equipped with 100 beds. The facility is a for-profit provider corporately owned by Southern Charm Healthcare, Inc. The staff includes physical therapists, nursing staff, and speech pathologists, as well as other support staff. However, recent inspections and performance reports are concerning for current and future patients. Personal reviews posted online disclose general dissatisfaction and below-average ratings. Health inspections reveal numerous violations, deficiencies, and the repeated imposition of fines.
Recent Health Inspections
When choosing a care facility for your loved one, it is imperative to perform diligent research. Health inspections often provide valuable information about the facility’s practices, as well as any prior complaints. Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool allows families to access health and safety information for various providers and compare multiple facilities side-by-side. Thorough research of Opus Post-Acute Rehab reveals some startling statistics.
2018 Health Inspection
The last health inspection for Opus Post-Acute Rehab was completed on October 18, 2018. The report reveals 17 health violations. The violations reported is almost three times as many as the state average and more than double the national average. The majority of deficiencies were cited in two categories: Resident’s Rights and Freedom from Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation. Of course, any inspection violation is cause for concern. However, numerous violations in these specific categories are especially troubling.
Notable deficiencies in the 2018 report include:
- Failure to have policies in place to prevent abuse. A review of patient records indicated that a resident made an allegation of abuse, which was not properly addressed by the appropriate staff members. The resident complaint alleged that a care provider forced the patient to walk after they voiced they were unable. Following the incident, the complaint alleged the care provider continued to physically abuse the patient. The staff did not properly investigate or take action regarding the complaint.
- Failure to timely report abuse. In a separate incident involving alleged abuse, two staff members heard a resident complain of abuse, which they noted. The facility’s policy requires all staff members to report abuse immediately. However, 2.5 hours passed before the employees properly reported the incident.
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care according to orders. On October 12, 2018, staff discovered a resident lying on the floor after an apparent fall. The evaluation of the incident was incomplete and paperwork relating to the accident was missing required information.
Further research shows that one fine was imposed against the facility in 2018. The fine imposed on September 21, 2018, totaled $50,657.
2017 Health Inspection
The 2017 health inspection report revealed deficiencies related to improper administration of medication:
- The temperature log for medication storage was incomplete.
- Some medication was held outside of the required temperature variables.
In addition to negative health reports, Opus Post-Acute Rehab received two fines, one for $7,222 on June 28, 2017, and one totaling $43,953 on December 18, 2017.
2016 Health Inspection
The report noted four noted deficiencies in 2016, making recent reports even more concerning. In 2016, reported deficiencies included:
- Staff members failure to ensure appropriate privacy;
- A patient was not fully involved in revisions of their care plan;
- Healthcare administrators improperly coded a patient’s life expectancy; and
- The facility failed to ensure safe food handling procedures.
Patient Rights in South Carolina
As a basic human right, every patient is entitled to respect and dignity. Beyond that, there are federal and state laws intended to protect residents of care facilities. If a facility’s actions or failure to act violates a resident’s legal rights, they may be subject to civil and criminal litigation. The South Carolina legislature has established a bill of rights for residents of long-term care facilities. Skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes must provide a level of care that ensures these rights are protected.
Some rights created by the bill of rights include:
- All residents have the right to choose their own physician and participate in their care plan.
- Every resident has the right to manage their own finances.
- A resident has the right to be free from abuse or neglect.
- Each resident can participate in social activities at their will.
- Married residents have the right to a shared room.
- The facility should allow a resident to use their own clothing and personal belongings.
- The resident’s family must be allowed immediate access to the resident.
Call Us to Protect Your Loved One From Opus Post Acute Rehab
Regardless of how long a person stays at a care facility, all residents have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, facilities frequently fail to provide even this basic standard of care.
Abuse comes in many forms, but any type of abuse can be traumatic and devastating. Abuse violates personal trust and can have long-term psychological effects on the victim and their family. Under South Carolina’s personal injury laws, victims of abuse are entitled to seek financial compensation for resulting damages. Compensation may allow patients to find a new facility that will provide adequate care.
Abuse is never okay. If you suspect abuse, contact your local ombudsman right away, then call Hughey Law Firm. We regularly work to hold negligent care providers accountable, and we have helped patients at Opus Post recover compensation before.
Contact us today or call (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.
Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464