A suburban Cincinnati nursing home has been put on a federal watch list following inspections that found problems including sexual abuse of a female patient with dementia.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in Monday's editions that three inspections last year of the East Galbraith Health Care Center in Deer Park showed deficiencies that recently landed the 140-bed facility on the Special Focus Facility List. It's among more than 130 nursing homes across the country targeted for increased scrutiny because of problems.
Heather Long, of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said homes get on the list after a high number of deficiencies over an extended period.
At East Galbraith, the most severe was the sexual abuse of a woman last year by a male patient who also had dementia.
Inspectors found that the man had learned an access code to a women's area and had sexually abused a patient. He is no longer at the facility, and the nursing home's administrator said vast improvements have been made at the home and are still being made.
"I know this is a label placed on East Galbraith right now, but I do not believe that is who we are right now," said administrator Abel Quintero. "A lot of good things happen here every day."
Among problems was an October inspection finding that the center didn't have a registered nurse on duty at all times, as required, and that one patient wasn't given proper dosage of medication for depression.
The special focus status is meant to push homes to fix underlying problems found in inspections, or face exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs. Nursing homes put on the Special Focus Facility list receive increased attention and inspections.
Quintero said the home will meet with family members and residents to discuss placement on the list. He said the nursing home staff also is meeting with a Medicare quality improvement organization to discuss strategies for improvement.
Facilities that demonstrate lasting improvements are removed from the list. The Enquirer reported that at least six other nursing homes in the Cincinnati area have moved off the list since 2008 after being on it.