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Columbia senior care facility under scrutiny

The death of a resident at a Columbia senior care facility last Feb. was just one serious symptom of resident care problems. Understaffing and other problems at the facility have led to neglect and poor care.

The Illinois Department of Public Health fined that facility $25,000 for the death of the resident. IDPH found that the facility missed a significant need to change a resident's medical treatment. The resident was hospitalized because of that error and later died in hospice.

The Monroe County coroner, in addition to that death, is also investigating the death of another patient who fell. He said that he will rule that death as accidental, but he also reported it to the IDPH because of the patient's condition.

The previous owner of the facility was also sued in 2017 for not adequately monitoring or supervising a resident who had a high risk of falls. Another lawsuit was filed in 2015 after an alleged injury fall.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave this 119-bed facility an overall one-star rating out of the five stars that may be awarded. The rating is based upon heath inspections, staffing and resident care quality.

This facility received one star for heath inspections and three stars for quality of resident care. The low staff rating was based upon its understaffing. Residents receive approximately 30 fewer minutes daily, compared to the average for Illinois, with licensed nurse staff or a registered nurse. The quality of care rating was based on statistics such as the percentage of residents who were re-hospitalized, suffered a major injury from a fall or received a flu shot.

Additionally disturbing, however, CMS reported that the facility received 28 heath citations on its most recent annual inspection for being out of compliance with federal regulations. The average number for Illinois is 10.6 while the national average is eight.

This facility also received 43 complaints that led to heath citations over the last three years. It also was issued one fire citation over the last year which is twice the state average. State inspectors cited the facility in one of those cases because an administrator ripped the clothes and sprayed a wheelchair-restricted resident with cold water.

An attorney can seek compensation for a nursing home death. They may also pursue remedies under state and federal law for residents.

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