Raleigh Nursing Home Fined for Patient's Death to Close?

Raleigh Nursing Home Fined for Patient's Death to Close?
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A Raleigh nursing home that was heavily fined in April after a patient's death is laying off its workforce, according to sources at the facility.

Blue Ridge Health Care Center, located at 3830 Blue Ridge Rd. in Raleigh, was heavily fined in April with a $4550 per day civil penalty for violations that occurred from March 16, 2012 through April 26, 2012. Its remaining skeleton crew of employees have now received separation papers that show termination dates of on or around August 22, 2012. The facility, according to separation papers that we reviewed, is offering two weeks of severance pay to the affected employees.

This fine, beginning in April, was only the most recent of a series of fines the facility has been assessed over at least the past fifteen years. There have been scores of complaints over the years alleging substandard care and the facility has been threatened by the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding. The facility finally lost its ability to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid as a result of the latest fiasco in which a patient died at the nursing home on March 20, 2012 after removing her own tracheotomy tube during the night. According to the complaint, no nursing staff checked on the patient, who had a history of pulling out that same tracheotomy tube nine times on March 17, 2012 and three times on March 18, 2012. The patient was found dead the following morning in a reclining chair.

The facility had several instances in 2011 ranked as a number two on a sliding 1 to 4 scale going from least serious to most serious. In January 2012 the site had five problems rated the most serious, a number four, during a January 22, 2012 inspection.

The facility appears ready to shut its doors as sources at the facility state that no employee has been spared from the layoff and all of its patients have either been transferred to other facilities or are awaiting transfer. The facility's website, however, as of June 25, 2012 still shows that they are accepting new patients and still shows that they are accepting government payments.

According to the company's website:

"The most important feature at Blue Ridge Health Care Center is our dedicated, professional Staff who recognize the importance our Residents place on staff responsiveness and competencies. At Blue Ridge Health Care Center we are committed to a Culture of Excellence that offers unparalleled service, unsurpassed in the industry."

" Our Mission is to serve customers with distinction, defining excellence within the healthcare community. We strive to lead the industry by delivering superior clinical outcomes and exceptional care and service in an extraordinary residential setting. We treat our Residents, their families and each other with respect, dignity and compassion."

" Admissions -- Blue Ridge Health Care Center accepts most managed care, private pay and state funded programs. For more information or to arrange a tour, contact us or call the Admissions Office at (919) 420-7432."

Blue Ridge Health Care Center is a CareVirginia company.