The Holland-Glen Nursing Home in Hatboro, Pennsylvania faces serious charges filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for providing substandard and worthless care, which defrauded the Pennsylvania Medicaid and federal Medicare progarms. The civil complaint filed by the federal government alleges that the facility was operating without a proper skilled-nursing license and provided care that was below the standard of care in several respects, including failing to respond to respiratory alarms, improper bedsore treatment and improper medication administration. Several specific incidents were also mentioned, including the death of a 10 month old infant with a heart condition after receiving improper doses of two different medications. Also, the nursing home staff failed to respond on many occassions to pulse oximeter alarms (which measure the amount of oxygen in the blood) and one patient was found unresponsive because the monitor was attached improperly.
Patrick Meehan, the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia who filed the lawsuit, is permitting the nursing home to continue its operations during the litigation of the case. The Holland-Glen Nursing Home provides specialized care to approximately 30 children and young adults, who are ventilator-dependant or respiratory impaired. Apparently, the nursing home had a license to operate only as a community group home for the mentally retarded, but when this program ended in 2003 and the facility began providing skilled nursing care, no skilled-nursing license was ever obtained. Meehan also stated that this nursing home has failed to comply with federal and state regulations in the past.
Improper and substandard Nursing Home care is a frequent source of concern that can result in a medical malpractice case. Unfortunately, we too often hear in the news about elderly patients who are neglected, abused and even beaten by nursing home staff. As at the Holland-Glen Nursing Home, bedsores are common and they can progress into serious infections such as osteomyelitis (bone infection) and can even result in death. Nursing Homes have an obligation to provide a competent and proper level of care for all their patients, including nutrition and medical monitoring. As this case demonstrates, the same issues and concerns are present in the chronic care of infants and children as are present in caring for the elderly.