A U.S. Justice Department report on the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette, Alabama, alleged “deficiencies have contributed to the untimely deaths of … residents as well as led to other preventable illnesses, injuries, and harm.” The report, released last month, was based on an inspection conducted in February along with interviews and documents. The federal report concludes residents “suffer significant harm and risk of harm from the facility’s inadequate medical and nursing services.” It lists numerous specific examples going back several years, identifying residents only by initials. The problems found at the facility included:

  • Inadequate nutritional and hydration services;
  • Improper and dangerous psychotropic medication practices;
  •  Inadequate pressure-sore treatment and skin care;
  • Inadequate restorative care and specialized rehabilitation services;
  • Failure to protect residents from harm due to falls;
  • Failure to adequately investigate allegations of resident abuse; and
  • The inappropriate use of restraints.

The December 18th report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was signed by Grace Chung Becker, acting assistant Attorney General. The report stated: “Specifically, we have concluded that numerous conditions and practices at W.F. Green violate the constitutional and federal statutory rights of its residents.”

Some deficiencies at the home were cited by the state Department of Public Health in a 2007 report. Human Management Resources had its license downgraded to probationary. HMR replaced Cullman-based USA Healthcare in 2004 as the management company for the state’s three nursing homes for veterans. The Bay Minette facility opened in 1995 and houses about 150 veterans, according to reports.

Last year, the state Health Department returned for a follow-up inspection and upgraded HMR to a fully-licensed health care provider at the Bay Minette facility. The State Veterans Affairs Department said in that review, and one by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last year, “there was no indication in the agencies’ reports that (William F. Green) was in violation of the constitutional and federal rights of residents, or that residents suffered from harm, or were at risk of harm.” It should be noted that the Department denies all of the changes in the report.

Source: Mobile Press Register

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