The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sponsors a website called Nursing Home Compare that makes public lots of information about nursing homes across the country. The CMS web site unfortunately does not require disclosures of the frequency or circumstances in which nursing homes provide such poor care that lawsuits or litigation is required, settlements, or settlement results. Virginia has a web site that makes available to the public when individual physicians make payments (i.e. verdicts and settlements) on claims involving medical errors. The site requires physicians to identify when payments were made on their behalf, a brief explanation of the claim, and whether payment made were average, lower than average, or higher than average. Why can't Virginia require the same from nursing homes and assisted living facilities?
The cases on which I have contacted by grieving families are always tragic and have involved horrible pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), some resulting in infection, gangrene, amputation, and death, falls with severe fractures that require life-altering surgery, medication errors, wandering and elopement, malnutrition and sudden weight loss, dehydration, fires and burns, and patient-to-patient assault. Many of these cases were never investigated by state or federal authorities and would never be the subject of public disclosure by CMS or by others.
The list of nursing homes that I have been required to sue on behalf of abused and neglected patients and their families in Virginia is too lengthy to reproduce here, but I've been involved in plenty of cases against facilities owned, operated, and managed by Medical Facilities of America (MFA) in Roanoke, Virginia.
MFA facilities in the western part of Virginia include Salem Health and Rehabilitation Center (Salem), Pulaski Health and Rehabilitation Center (Pulaski), Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center (Danville), Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center (Harrisonburg), Springtree Health and Rehabilitation Center (Roanoke), Lynchburg Health and Rehabilitation Center (Lynchburg), Culpeper Health and Rehabilitation Center (Culpeper), Piney Forest Healthcare Center (Danville), Stanleytown Healthcare Center (Bassett), The Berkshire Healthcare Center (Vinton), Gretna Healthcare Center (Gretna), Franklin Healthcare Center (Rocky Mount), Raleigh Court Healthcare Center (Roanoke), Appomattox Healthcare Center (Appomattox), Louisa Healthcare Center (Louisa), and Lovingston Healthcare Center (Lovingston).
In the eastern part of Virginia, MFA facilities include Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center (Arlington), Parham Health & Rehabilitation Center (Richmond), Virginia Beach Health & Rehabilitation Center (Virginia Beach), Burke Healthcare Center (Burke), Bowling Green Healthcare Center (Bowling Green), Warsaw Healthcare Center (Warsaw), Hanover Healthcare Center (Mechanicsville), Henrico Healthcare Center (Highland Springs), Regency Healthcare Center (Yorktown), Waverly Healthcare Center (Waverly), Courtland Healthcare Center (Courtland), Norfolk Healthcare Center (Norflok), Chesapeake Healthcare Center (Chesapeake), Bayside Healthcare Center (Virginia Beach), and Beufont Healthcare Center.
While I haven't had to file lawsuits against each of the MFA facilities listed above, MFA facilities are frequently in the crosshairs when patients are abused and neglected. MFA is by far the largest nursing home chain in Virginia. As MFA has been reminded by lawsuits involving my office (and as the saying goes), with great power comes great responsibility!
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia
Posted on Sat, June 21, 2008
by Robert Carter