Uptown Health Center releases COVID-19 statistics showing 122 COVID infections and 17 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 12, 2020, Uptown Health Center, located in Chicago, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 122 infections and 17 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In Quarter 1 of 2019 (January-March) a survey conducted on January 17, 2019, found Uptown Health Center to have committed a Type B violation. The violation included sections 300.610a), 300.1210b), 300.1210c), 300.1210d)6) and 300.3240a) of the code. A $2,200 fine was assessed for the violation.
Based upon interview and a record review, Uptown Health Center failed to ensure that each resident receives adequate supervision to prevent accidents. In this incident, the individual had a previous fall history and was a known fall risk. This resident was left unsupervised in a designated smoking area, when his care plan stated to be monitored by staff when in the smoking area. Subsequently, the resident fell and required hospitalization.
In Quarter 4 of 2018 (October-December) a survey conducted on October 18, 2018, found Uptown Health Center have committed two Type A violations. The first violation included sections 300.610a), 300.1210b), 300.1210c), 300.1210d)4)B)5) and 300.3240a) of the code and a $25,000 fine was assessed. The second violation included sections 300.1210b), 300.1210c), 300.1210d)6), 300.3240a) and 300.3240d) of the code and a $25,000 fine was assessed.
Based upon interview and a record review, Uptown Health Center failed to document, monitor, and provide goods and services to three residents, failed to ensure incontinence checks were conducted properly and failed to follow its mechanical lift policy for residents. These failures resulted in pressure ulcers developing for residents and one resident suffering a hip fracture.
The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts annual recertification surveys in which nursing homes are subjected to a review of their regulatory histories, as well as any violations occurring at the facility. When a facility is found to be in violation, the facility is required to submit a plan of correction noting both how it will remedy the violation and how it will prevent similar violations in the future.
The 2020 recertification survey conducted on February 5, 2020, found Uptown Health Center to have committed multiple violations. These violations included; failure to promote dignity and respect for residents, failure to follow procedure on reporting injuries in a timely manner, failure to provide activities of daily living skills to dependent residents, failure to have licensed staff remove fecal excrement from a resident and failure to obtain a physician’s order to remove fecal matter, failure to supervise a resident with a transfer, failure to provide behavior monitoring documentation to support use of an antipsychotic drug for a resident that has dementia, failure to handle, prepare, and distribute food in a manner that prevents foodborne illness, with the chance to affect all 232 residents, and failure to provide working call lights for residents.
With COVID-19 having such a high rate of infection it is important to address all sanitary and infection issues, especially issues that have the chance to affect multiple residents. Uptown Health Center issued a corrective plan of action in response to this survey. In regard to the proper handling of food to avoid infection, Uptown Health Center is ensuring that kitchen staff has been educated on the proper techniques to avoid cross contamination. Further, a weekly kitchen audit will be conducted for a month to monitor the correct practices by kitchen staff.
Similar with the 2020 recertification, the 2019 recertification survey found multiple violations for sanitary and infection issues within Uptown Health Center. Specifically, the survey conducted on January 17, 2019, found a failure to properly store and serve food under sanitary conditions, with the potential to cause food borne illness for all 237 residents present, failure to follow standard infection control practices for use of personal protective equipment, failure to maintain respiratory equipment in a manner to prevent the spread of infection, failure to establish an infection prevention and control program that includes with the potential to affect all 245 residents in the facility, and a failure to maintain a pest free environment.
A plan of correction was issued in response to this 2019 recertification survey. However, it should be very concerning that between two recertification surveys, Uptown Health Center is continually being cited for sanitary violations that can affect all residents present. The high rate of both COVID-19 cases and deaths at this facility is unsurprising. The continued lack of care shown to both the violations incurred and plans of corrections being offered should be startling for residents and family members. Until the facility can properly follow their sanitation and infection and control policies, then residents and family members should worry if COVID-19 cases will drop at Uptown Health Center.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Uptown Health Center operated with insufficient staff and with a lack of adherence to recognized infection control protocols. It is not surprising that they were ill equipped to handle this outbreak.”
Levin & Perconti: Chicago Attorneys at Law
As experienced advocates for long-term care residents and their families, our firm is ready to help ensure that your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Please use our resources to help you stay connected and know that if you find yourself concerned about a resident’s well-being, you can call us at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417 to request our help during a free consultation.
Share Your COVID-19 Nursing Home Story and Help Others
As COVID-19 continues to spread, it has also magnified systemic breakdowns within Illinois’ long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers. After this latest release of reported data by IDPH, more than half of the COVID-19-related fatalities in Illinois have now occurred at these facilities.