The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday on federal action that indicates big trouble for a local nursing home.
The Wincrest Nursing Center on the city’s north side was found delinquent on many fronts following alarming federal inspections. Investigators uncovered stories of bloody fights between residents and rampant drug use and abuse. An earlier inquiry revealed that the Chicago nursing home had violated Illinois law by failing to notify the state of various individuals living there-the facility includes dozens of residents with felony records. Journalistic reports and complaints by nearby Loyola University officials indicate that illegal drug use and crime around the nursing facility has been a long-running problem.
The latest summary issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicate that facility staff members were poorly trailed, provided inadequate supervision to risky residents, and failed to provide necessary psychiatric services to prevent the mental deterioration of many residents. The federal investigators learned that some residents were taking psychotropic drugs not prescribed to them. During the examinations several residents were openly found under the influence of drugs and alcohol within the home.
The shocking stories of Illinois nursing home negligence abound at Wincrest-including resident prostitution to support drug habits, violent attacks between residents, threatened knife fights, open drug use, and many similar issues.
As a result of these violations, the federal officials hit the facilities with fines totaling more than $400,000. They also threatened to immediately stop federal funding unless dramatic improvements were made to those patients in immediate jeopardy. The loss of such funding might be the death the knell for the facility as those payments account for nearly 99% of its funding.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti believe this reckless, haphazard nursing home care should not be tolerated. It is vital that a facility not create dangerous conditions for a neighboring community. Just as important, it is essential that staff members ensure that certain residents do not pose dangers to the average member of the facility who is simply trying to live happily while receiving the special care necessary to survive.
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