As Florida’s largest, and the country’s sixth largest, nursing home operator, Consulate Health Care operates approximately 77 nursing homes in Florida and approximately 210 nationwide. Statewide, Consulate has had a spate of regulatory and judicial troubles as outlined by the this article in the Naples Daily News: https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/special-reports/2018/05/31/neglected-fraud-and-abuse-nursing-homes-florida/542609002/.
Highlighting those troubles is a judgment entered against Consulate in February of this year for $347.8 million arising out of allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. While that judgment was set aside by the Federal trial Court, an appeal is pending.
In the Jacksonville area, Consulate operates five nursing homes: Consulate Health Care of Jacksonville; San Jose Health and Rehabilitation; Harts Harbor Health Care Center; Consulate Health Care of Orange Park; and Governors Creek Health and Rehabilitation. None of these nursing homes has received more than 2 stars on a one to five star scale set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Governors Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center in Green Cove Springs, Florida, has a one star ranking. The remaining four nursing homes each have a two star ranking.
Medicare ranks every nursing home in the country that receives payment from Medicare on the one to five star scale. Rankings are based on criteria including: health inspections; staffing levels; and 16 different quality measures.
Health inspections are conducted by Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. Approximately once a year, each nursing home is subjected to an unannounced survey. In addition, AHCA may also survey a nursing home in response to a complaint. During a survey, the inspectors review random resident records, staffing reports and the nursing home’s policies and procedures. Inspectors also interview residents and family members. In addition, building issues, such as cleanliness and fire protection equipment are evaluated.
Staffing levels are assessed based on “per patient day” averaging. The number of registered nurse, licensed practical nurse and certified nurse assistants employed are broken down on a per patient day average.
The quality measures include: the percent of residents who report moderate to severe pain; the percent of residents with new or worsened pressure ulcers (bedsores); the percent of residents who were given the flu vaccine; the percent of residents given anti-psychotic medication; the percent of residents experiencing falls causing major injuries; the percent of residents with urinary tract infections; the percent of residents who develop bowel or bladder incontinence; the percent of residents requiring an indwelling urinary catheter; the percent of residents who were physically restrained; the percent of residents whose need for assistance with activities of daily living has increased; the percent of residents losing an excessive amount of weight; and the percent of residents suffering from depression.
Here in Jacksonville, our nursing home abuse lawyers have handled three wrongful death cases against Consulate’s Jacksonville area nursing homes. In comparison, we have never accepted a case against any of the five star facilities in the Jacksonville area. Continue reading