A second Glen Burnie nursing home is being threatened with state sanctions after a routine inspection uncovered problems with providing proper patient care.
Arundel Geriatric and Nursing Center could become ineligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements unless it corrects violations of 14 regulations. The center on Furnace Branch Road has until the end of the week to submit a correction plan for improving care at its new, 42-bed unit that was cited by health inspectors.
Although the Arundel Geriatric and Nursing Center's 115-bed main building passed the state's annual inspection last spring, investigators found deficiencies with staffing and supervision at the satellite unit for psycho-geriatric care.
A 71-page report detailing problems documented during a six-day inspection in October was released by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last week.
Most of the violations stemmed from not hiring and training enough nurses and aides. Minor injuries and medical complications could have been avoided, while better hygiene could have been maintained, the report said.
But none of the incidents posed a serious, immediate threat to the patients' safety, health officials said.
Michael Francus, co-owner of the nursing home, said he intends to turn in a correction plan by Friday and hopes to get a clean bill of health during the follow-up exam.
"Right now, we're really focused on giving the state what they want," Francus said yesterday. "This is a new program, and we're refining it as we go."
His nursing home is the second one in Glen Burnie to be faulted by the state this fall.
North Arundel Nursing and Convalescent Center, which failed three inspections in the last two years, is now awaiting word on whether it will be stripped of its Medicare and Medicaid support. That center might not survive financially then, since the federal insurance programs for the elderly and disabled provide the bulk of nursing home revenues.
North Arundel Center, a private, 121-bed home on Hospital Drive, was faulted for a continuing pattern of inadequate supervision, poor record-keeping and possible patient neglect last month. But the home has outlined substantial steps to improve care since then, said Carol Benner, acting director of licensing and certification for the Health Department.
"If they do everything they say they're going to do, they should be OK," Benner said.
A ruling on whether the home will get another chance or lose its Medicare is expected next week from the federal Health Care Financing Administration. Medicaid support usually collapses without Medicare reimbursements.
Arundel Geriatric Center also could lose its Medicare and Medicaid starting Jan. 23 if it fails to improve care. But Benner was optimistic about avoiding those sanctions.
"Before the survey was even over, they called us and immediately began to correct their problems," she said, referring to the mid-October inspection. "Hopefully, at this point they've pulled themselves out of the problems."
The most serious of the incidents cited in the report involved two patients who were hospitalized with complications that could have been prevented. One man who had an amputated foot was hospitalized twice with infections. The report faulted the home for failing to take "measures to control the infection."
Another man who stumbled and hit his head on the floor did not receive thorough follow-up care, according to patient records reviewed by the investigators.
Several mentally ill patients also were left unsupervised during the inspection. Other problems noted in the report included poor hygiene, such as failing to clean up after incontinent patients, and not following proper procedures in changing catheters.
If the center's correction plan is approved, state health officials will continue to monitor the new unit and impose a staffing ratio to guarantee proper care. North Arundel, which is hiring additional nurses, also will have to maintain a state-mandated staffing pattern if it passes the next inspection.