North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse, Medical Malpractice, and Inadequate Care Among Reasons Given for Why State Wants to Fine Chapel Hill Assisted Living Facility $20K

August 17, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fine the Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home $20,000 in penalties. This amount is the federal maximum allowed for violations, which investigators say took place in February.

Following investigations of the Chapel Hill nursing home by the Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section on February 18, June 15, 16, 17, 29, July 1and 27 of this year, the state found evidence supporting 8 of 25 complaints that were filed, including those involving:

• Failure to protect 14 Alzheimer’s patients from becoming victims of abuse.
• Failure to ensure protect patients from being administered unnecessary drugs.
• Failure to prevent medical mistakes.

The violations stem from incidents connected to Angela Almore, a former registered nurse who has been charged with North Carolina nursing home abuse and second-degree murder for the death of resident Rachel Holliday. The 84-year-old patient had morphine levels in her system that likely contributed to her death from pneumonia and asphyxiation. Almore is also blamed for the morphine-related injuries of six other residents. None of them had morphine prescriptions as part of their treatment.

It was just last year that CMS fined Britthaven of Chapel Hill $216,400 for not being in compliance with certain requirements. Resident Mary Lou Barzon, 95, broke both thigh bones when a nursing home worker dropped her while transferring the patient to her bed. The nursing assistant did not use a mechanical lift, even though the patient’s care plan called for it. No one reported the North Carolina fall accident, which left Barzon’s injuries untreated for two weeks. The elderly resident passed away soon after. Now, her family is suing the assisted living facility for her Chapel Hill wrongful death.

In another Chapel Hill nursing home negligence lawsuit against Britthaven of Chapel Hill, Marian Orlowski’s widow is seeking damages. Orlowski, who had dementia, was injured in a fall accident. Jadwiga Orlowski claims the assisted living facility did not provide her husband with the proper nursing care.

Nursing home may be fined,, August 12, 2010

Report calls for Britthaven fines, The Herald Sun, August 11, 2010

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence: Britthaven of Chapel Hill Sued for Inadequate Care, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services

Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section


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