Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center Investigated for Negligence and Abuse

The New Jersey Department of Health has moved to officially monitor the Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center, located in Andover. This facility, which was previously called the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center, has already faced national scrutiny for its treatment of residents. The notorious nursing home was the subject of national media attention when, in April 2020, local police discovered 17 bodies stored in a ‘temporary morgue’ in the facility. The location changed its name in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when it hit nationwide headlines for the concealed dead bodies housed inside the facility. Since that incident, “a continued drumbeat over the failures of care at Woodland alleging abuse and neglect of residents led to the almost unprecedented move last month to revoke its funding and state licenses and seek the protection of a receivership.”

The now-Woodland facility will be partnering with Atlantic Health System, an entity that was previously responsible for providing personal protective equipment and other useful care tools to the nursing home. The team in charge of the facility observation will remain on-site for up to 90 days, during which they will ensure that all requirements for resident care are met.

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Internal Issues Abound at Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center

The Department of Health has labeled Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center as one of the worst nursing homes in the state, and problems are not new for this facility. The overarching claim that the location “fails to prevent abuse and neglect” of its residents only scratches the surface of issues that appear to have threatened the lives of more than 400 residents who live there.

Issues in the past have included the facility’s failure to resuscitate residents who succumbed to cardiac events. Several residents, including one who was just 55 years old, passed away as a result of the staff’s failure to take action in these medical incidents. No phone calls were made to emergency services, and CPR was also not performed. The residents did not have Do Not Resuscitate orders.

Similarly, one resident who called for assistance when their catheter became painfully entangled in their wheelchair was not attended to for at least an hour. In another incident, a resident requested a new aide because the individual feel scared, but the coordinator for staffing never reported this request. The involved aide later left the resident sitting in their own feces for ten hours.

What Comes Next for Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center

Upon discovering the state of the facility, the Health Department immediately threatened to permanently shut down or suspend operations if the most egregious errors were not fixed within 72 hours. These issues were quickly resolved.

Now, Woodland continues to work with not only the Health Department and Atlantic Health System but also CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to improve care in the future. This will include increases to staffing after investigators discovered that the facility had been operating with less than half of the staff required by the state of New Jersey. While this issue has not been corrected yet, investigators remain vigilant at the facility and require weekly reports of the current status of upgrades. Until the problems at Woodland have been resolved, no new residents will be permitted to enter intake into the facility.

Update: What is Going On at Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center?

The troubled Andover nursing home has had its licensed revoked and the 100+ residents have been moved out of Woodland Behavioral Center. Officials have told the New Jersey nursing home that it must pay the $15,723 fine for “serious deficiencies” related to resident care, or else face a funding cutoff from Medicare.

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