In a recent settlement, seven nursing homes across the state of Massachusetts were found lacking in quality of care and or inadequately run. The Massachusetts nursing home settlement was agreed upon in late March and levied fines of between $20,000 and $300,000 on each of the homes.
As some additional measures, the Massachusetts nursing home settlement required the closure of one of the seven homes, and levied sanctions the corporation Synergy Health Centers, the owner and operator of both Woodbriar Health Center and Braemoor Health Center. These sanctions prevent Synergy Health Centers from operating in the state of Massachusetts for seven years.
A full list of homes involved in the Massachusetts nursing home settlement includes:
- Oxford Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
- Woodbriar Health Center
- Wakefield Center
- Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center
- The Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Everett
- Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow
- Braemoor Health Center
The major evidence cited for the ruling of the Massachusetts nursing home settlement included standard operating infractions like understaffing or improperly trained staff, but also detailed several deaths that occurred as the result of negligence. These deaths included one resident’s slip and fall that went undiscovered and then untreated, that resident later passed away as the result of internal bleeding that resulted from the injury. The second death cited in the proceedings was the death of a resident as a result of a severely outdated bed and handrail system in one of the nursing homes that resulted in an untimely passing. The final death cited was the result of the nursing home’s failure to distribute an anticoagulant to a patient who died as a result of blood clotting.
Despite these infractions and the unsafe conditions of these nursing homes, no party in the Massachusetts nursing home settlement is being charged with any criminal misconduct. In follow-up interviews, it has been made clear that there is no intent to pursue criminal charges, and that this issue will be kept a strictly civil matter.
The fines paid as a result of the Massachusetts nursing home settlement will be dispersed throughout the state with half of the fines going to fund nursing home inspections. In addition to the financial penalties leveled against them, the homes have been placed under increased scrutiny by the state of Massachusetts and they will be required to make amends and corrections to their procedures to ensure that these infractions do not continue to occur.