Utica Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

Our New York nursing home abuse attorneys can assist you in bringing a Utica nursing home neglect claim.

Call the Utica nursing home abuse attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm for a free case consultation now at 585-673-1200.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Serving Utica and Oneida County, NY

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Oneida County New York

Nursing home abuse and neglect is widespread throughout American skilled nursing facilities. Sadly, Utica nursing homes are no exception.

While ratings and state findings change over time (the below was written in January 2020), it is important for family members to understand a facility’s legal history.

Utica Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

In March 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) listed Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center as a “Special Focus Facility.”

“Special Focus Facilities” are nursing homes that have had a consistently high number of deficiencies uncovered by Medicare inspections and surveys, a pattern of serious issues that have not been resolved over a three-year period, and significant issues that have or could result in harm to residents. Nursing homes placed on the “Special Focus Facilities” list are visited by Medicare inspectors twice as frequently as non-listed facilities and are subject to higher penalties if issues are not timely resolved. The facilities ultimately risk the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding if they do not improve.

CMS expects that these Special Focus Facilities improve and graduate from the program within 18 to 24 months. Yet, according to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the designation has little effect on the facilities. Even when nursing homes are cited for “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” deficiencies – Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received six of these citations in the past four years – CMS rarely imposes serious actions against the facilities.

For example, the Center for Medicare Advocacy examined the list of Special Focus Facilities and looked into whether these facilities had received monetary penalties or “denials of payment for new admissions.” Of the 37 Special Focus Facilities, 28 had been cited with “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” deficiencies. Only half of those 28 facilities had monetary penalties or denials of payment for new admissions or both imposed against them. The average monetary penalty was approximately $20,000. Strangely, the Center for Medicare Advocacy also found that once facilities were placed on the Special Focus Facilities list, they were generally imposed monetary penalties that were “far smaller than the [monetary penalties] imposed against facilities before they were designated as [Special Focus Facilities].”

The lack of oversight becomes more alarming as Utica Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has been cited for deficiency #0600, which the CMS has described as “[p]rotect each resident from all types of abuse such as physical, mental, sexual abuse, physical punishment, and neglect by anybody.”

Pines at Utica Center for Nursing and Rehab

Poor nursing home care is not limited to those listed on CMS’s Special Focus Facilities list. The Pines at Utica Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has received three reviews on Caring.com, all of which only gave the facility one star out of five. One of those reviewers had had her grandfather admitted to the facility. According to the review, he passed away alone, twelve hours after his admission. The reviewer alleges that he suffered from a panic attack due to the lack of interest in his care.

Citations issued to The Pines at Utica Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation highlight past issues regarding the level of care provided at that facility. According to NYup.com, who compiled data regarding New York state nursing homes, the nursing home received two complaint investigations that resulted in citations in the past three years. One of those was citations regarded the quality of care at the facility. The other concerned resident rights.

Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Utica

Grand Rehab Nursing at Utica has a 1 Star RatingAs of this post in January of 2020, The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Utica has a ‘much below average’ 1 star overall rating from Medicare’s nursing home compare.

This is the lowest rating available for a skilled nursing facility like Grand Rehab at Utica.

One of the reasons why Grand Rehab has such a poor overall rating is that the facility only has a 1 star rating in Health Inspections.

Oneida Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing

Oneida Center for Rehab is a Poorly Rated Utica Nursing HomeOneida Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing only has a 2 star overall rating from Medicare.

This rating means the facility is graded by the Federal Government as ‘below average’ overall.

While this 120 bed facility had a 1 star health inspection rating, the Oneida Center for Rehab does enjoy a 4 star above average staffing rating and a 2 star quality measures rating.

St. Luke’s Home at MVHS Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

The MVHS Rehab in Utica (Mohwak Valley Health System – St. Luke’s Nursing Home) is a non-profit, which usually translates to more staff on the floor. However, at the time of this post, MVHS Utica has a below average overall rating, 2 star staffing rating and a 2 star health inspection rating.

Are there any Utica Nursing Homes to Absolutely Avoid?

Every facility has some demonstrable legal past. Further, past mistakes may be corrected and the shiny new five star facility may be tomorrow’s one star. Thus, even if the nursing home of your choice in the Utica, NY area is not on the Special Focus Facilities list, there is no guarantee that the facility is providing the level of care that is appropriate. It is imperative that you keep an eye on your loved one to spot potential nursing home neglect injuries.

A nursing home could appear to be clean and well-staffed; however, the reality can be quite different. Moreover, as outlined above, state and federal oversight and enforcement of regulations is often not sufficient or stringent enough to force facilities to improve. Unfortunately, moving a family member from a nursing home facility can become a time-consuming process, and many families find that there are no alternative options for their loved ones.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

  • Falls and broken bones
  • Significant weight loss
  • Skin ulcers and open wounds
  • Untreated infection and sepsis
  • Wrongful death

If your loved one suffered a serious injury inside a Utica facility, call our nursing home abuse lawyers today to investigate what really happened. Our lawyers only get paid if they make a recovery on your case. There are no up front fees or costs. Call Senior Justice Law Firm today to begin the conversation; 585-673-1200.

Utica Nursing Home Abuse Legislation and Administrative Action

There is some hope. Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, is advocating a bill to assign a state Health Department monitor to New York State nursing homes on the Special Focus Facilities list. Citing how poor nursing home care affects a highly vulnerable section of the population, the bill could ensure that nursing homes are more closely monitored by the state. However, according to the Times Union, the bill is not expected to move forward until 2020.

Unfortunately, proposed cuts to Medicaid hospitals will affect at least one Mohawk Valley Health System affiliated nursing home. According to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, amendments to the executive budget will result in a loss of $726,800 to this particular nursing home. Budget concerns often lead to overworked nursing home staff, who are often unable to provide an adequate level of care. Thus, these budget cuts could result in nursing home neglect, where residents suffer unsanitary, deplorable conditions.

Get a Free Case Evaluation for a Utica Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

If you or a loved one was a resident of a nursing home in the Utica, NY area, and you suspect or have experienced neglect and/or abuse, please feel free to contact us today. Senior Justice Law Firm is unique in that our attorneys focus their practice on nursing home abuse and neglect. This narrow focus allows us to aid families and nursing home residents who are suffering or have suffered as a result of poor nursing home care. We firmly believe that your loved one’s last years should be comfortable and work to make that a reality.

Call us today at 585-673-1200 or submit your information below to learn more about your legal options following an nursing home neglect incident in the Utica area.