Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Mexico Nursing Home Company Agrees to Fine for Obstructing Efforts of State Ombudsman

A company that manages two nursing homes in Santa Fe has agreed to pay a fine and change its practices after admitting to obstructing the efforts of a state ombudsman that investigates resident complaints.

“The administration making derogatory comments about the Ombudsman or saying ‘don’t talk to the Ombudsman, come to me instead’ that is obstruction and intimidation,” said Sondra Everhart, state long-term care ombudsman.

As part of a settlement agreement, Preferred Care Partners Management Group will pay the state $3,500. Everhart said it is the fourth time in her nine years as ombudsman that she has fined a nursing home, and New Mexico is one of the only states where the ombudsman’s office can impose penalties.

In a telephone interview, Everhart said the derogatory comments about the long-term care ombudsman came from the administration at Casa Real Healthcare Center, 150 Galisteo St., and verified by sworn statements by current or former staff members. Her office issued a notice of violation Nov. 1 and imposed an initial fine of $23,500.

But Everhart said the company acknowledged the problems and agreed to make changes, which is the reason the penalty was reduced.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing Home Company Agrees to Fine, Changes


Betty said...

It's not much of a fine for such an act, though.

Finny said...

No, but any fine at all sends a message, Betty. You can bet the facility is upset for losing.

Anonymous said...

It does make a record, though, and that's good.

Mary said...

Getting in their pockets will probably do more good than anything.

honeybear said...

What will be interesting is to see what they actually pay when it's time to pay up. Generally, facilities end up paying pennies on the dollar.