Tennessee health commissioner suspends admissions, imposes $50k fine on state nursing home for neglect

The Tennessee health commissioner suspended admissions at Memphis, Tenn.-based Ashton Place Health and Rehabilitation Center and imposed a record $50,000 fine after an investigation revealed widespread neglect that resulted in patient harm, according to the Commercial Appeal.

A survey conducted in mid-October by the Tennessee Department of Health cites multiple cases of patients suffering from physical harm due to staff failure to administer drugs, failure to report a worsening condition to physicians and failure to follow a physician's orders.

In one case of neglect, a male patient admitted to the facility July 26 without visible wounds was transferred to a hospital multiple times for ulcers. He died Oct. 11 and hospital staff found maggots in wounds that were reportedly left untreated. Another case cites a woman suffering from ovarian cancer, whose worsening condition was not reported to her physician. She died Oct. 24.  The report additionally details another patient did not receive 37 of 106 doses of prescribed Lyrica and 29 of 106 doses of morphine.

The 211-bed nursing home now faces a $1,000 fine for five violations and a $7,500 fine for six violations — for a total of $50,000, which is highest penalty ever imposed by a Tennessee health commissioner.

In addition, all new admissions to the nursing home are suspended until the conditions are corrected.

CMS also revoked Ashton Place Health and Rehab's Medicare contract Nov. 19.

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