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Archive for Wednesday, April 14, 1999

HEALTH DEPARTMENT FINES NURSING HOME

April 14, 1999

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A nursing home that has been fined five times since 1997 has been handed yet another fine by the state for alleged violations.

A Lawrence nursing home with a history of sanctions from state regulators has been fined another $6,800.

The civil fine was imposed on Southwinds Rehabilitation and Care Center, 1800 W. 27th, by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for alleged nursing home violations, including inadequate treatment of bedsores on a patient.

KDHE alleges that the facility's staff failed to provide adequate care after the patient returned from a hospital visit on Jan. 11. The patient was found to have bedsores that increased in size after the patient returned from the hospital, the KDHE said.

KDHE spokesman Mike Heideman said Southwinds was fined $200 a day for 34 days of alleged lack of treatment.

"It's the level of fine that's warranted for this type of violation," he said.

Several calls for comment to Southwinds and its parent company, Health Prime in Georgia, were not returned.

Southwinds -- formerly called Sterling Heights -- was fined four times for a total of $1,800 between 1996 and 1997 for alleged violations.

The center again was fined $5,000 in February 1998 for deficiencies that the KDHE found during a followup inspection to a checkup in November 1997.

The KDHE also imposed temporary bans on new admissions in 1994 and 1997 because of alleged violations.

"A history like that is out of the ordinary," Heideman said. "A facility's compliance history is taken into account when applying actions against them."

State law authorizes the KDHE to issue civil penalties following an inspection if the violations have resulted in or posed the risk of serious physical harm to a resident.

The KDHE can impose fines of $100 to $10,000 for violations, Heideman said.

The fines are subject to appeal to the secretary of the KDHE.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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