Columbia senior care facility fined again

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The Illinois Department of Public Health announced last week that Integrity Healthcare of Columbia has been fined again for various violations. 

The IDPH fined the 119-bed skilled care facility located at 253 Bradington Drive a total of $29,400, with all three fines being doubled because the violations carried a “high-risk designation.” 

This marks the second time the senior care facility has been fined in recent months, as the IDPH also fined it $25,000 in July for a violation that proximately caused a resident’s death. 

A Republic-Times investigation in August found Integrity Healthcare of Columbia has had a number of similar issues, including receiving an overall rating of one star out of five from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For our August article, click here.

The CMS compiles that rating based on star ratings for health inspections, staffing and quality of resident care. 

The Columbia facility has improved slightly, as it now has two stars instead of one on staffing, but it still has a one star rating overall. 

“It’s just been a nightmare down there,” Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill told the Republic-Times in August. 

Integrity Healthcare Vice President of Business Development Kenya O’Neal did not have much to say when asked for comment in August, and did not respond to a request for comment this time. 

“We are prohibited from providing information regarding residents’ care and treatment,” O’Neal said in August. “Integrity of Columbia strives to provide a loving and caring environment for our residents.” 

The $29,400 figure comes from three separate fines. 

One is for $25,000, while two are for $2,200. 

The $25,000 fine and one of the $2,200 penalties stem from an Aug. 29 report, while the other $2,200 punishment comes from an Oct. 11 report. 

The fines are for failing to “timely identify, assess and treat dermatitis wounds, assess for possible changes in condition, monitor vital signs and oxygen saturation levels, provide sliding scale insulin, prevent falls and provide progressive interventions to prevent future falls,” according to the IDPH.

The majority of the IDPH report details incidents associated with the Aug. 29 report, focusing on the failure to treat dermatitis wounds and monitor the vital signs and oxygen levels of two residents. 

In the former case, a resident went to the emergency room after a fall and hospital records stated the person had injuries including gluteal ulcerations, a gluteal fissure, multiple lesions, thigh abrasions, “bilateral medial groin moisture associated skin damage, inflammation and erosion of skin caused by prolonged exposure to moisture and its contents including urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudate, mucus or saliva.”

That resident’s doctor told the IDPH that he or she did not know about those wounds but said they appeared to be chronic in a few cases. 

“I would expect the nursing home to figure out a way to see (the resident’s) skin and report it to me,” the physician said. 

That same resident, who Integrity Healthcare of Columbia staff identified in the report as 89, contentious and incontinent, was also the one who the facility failed to assess for changes in conditions and monitor vital signs and oxygen levels. 

The resident, who fractured her neck in the fall, died just over 35 hours after returning to Integrity Healthcare of Columbia from the hospital, which the IDPH said was the result of the facility’s errors.  

The resident was supposed to have her vital signs checked three times a day, but the facility failed to do so the final time before she died because she appeared to be sleeping and had slept poorly the night before, so the certified nursing assistant let her sleep. 

The resident was also having delusions the day before she died. 

“They did not get vitals, assess or notify me of the resident’s delusions,” the physician told the IDPH. “Your seventh vital sign is a change in mental status. That is almost neglect. A neck fracture is difficult enough to heal with the best of nursing care. The fall that (the resident) had did hasten her death… The quality of care she received after returning from the hospital also hastened her death.” 

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