How to hide the worst of nursing home crimes from the public

The public never learned that inspectors cited another New Jersey nursing home, Rehab at River’s Edge, for failing to protect a fragile resident who fell seven times and at one point broke her foot.

And the public never learned that a resident at the Golden Living Center nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va. fell to the ground and died after staff accidentally removed the safety rails from his bed.

In all three cases, the findings of the state inspectors were confirmed by a federal judge.

Mr. Blum, the CMS officer, did not say why such quotes never appeared on Care Compare. He said the agency was working to fix the problem. (The three properties declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment. Golden Living is under new management.)

Dr. David Gifford, the chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association, which represents the nursing home industry, said members of the group believed the appeal process should be faster and more transparent. He said Medicare would not be allowed to publish the results of disputed inspections.

On paper, Hilltop Rehabilitation, a sprawling ranch-style nursing home in Weatherford, Texas, seems like a place where things never go wrong. Medicare has had the highest scores on its health inspections on Medicare’s ratings website for four consecutive years without a single major breach.

However, what happened to Alan Hart’s mother Laverne is missing in this picture.

In 2014, he referred the 87-year-old retired children’s author with dementia to Hilltop because he was struggling to look after her on his own.

Mr Hart said it was heartbreaking to move her, but he thought she would be safe in the five-star nursing home that planned to keep her on a gated, gated floor.


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