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Local facility fined $460K by TN Dept. of Health

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By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
As a result of a recent investigation by the Tennessee Department of Health into several immediate jeopardy violations, which in one case resulted in the death of a resident, Lebanon Health and Rehabilitation was fined almost $500,000 for the violations.

Shelley Walker, spokesperson for the TDOH, said the local facility was fined $3,050 for each day the violations had occurred. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited the facility from March 3 through Aug. 2.

The death of a resident that resulted from a deficient practice did lead to action against the facility, Walker said.

From July 29 through Aug. 3, the facility was under investigation by the department for several immediate jeopardy violations, one of which resulting in a residents death on March 8.

The total civil monetary penalty was in excess of $460,000 according to Walker. Also, from Aug. 3 until Lebanon Health and Rehab becomes compliant with regulations, the facility must pay an additional $150 per day.

From the time the unnamed resident was admitted to Lebanon Health and Rehabilitation, the residents potassium levels frequently fluctuated. During its investigation, the state found many inconsistencies about the time frame in which a doctor was notified of the residents critical potassium levels.

When the resident showed a critically high potassium level on March 3, the states report indicated facility staff testified the lab results were faxed to the physician that day, however the states review of the facility and physicians records showed it had not been faxed until March 7.

Also, the states report showed several inconsistencies in the times an ambulance was called to take the resident to the emergency room on March 8. The resident passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Walker said the facility has yet to return to substantial compliance with regulations and continues to pay the $150-per-day fine.

They havesubmitted a Plan of Correction, whichwill be reviewed and if acceptable, a revisit will be conducted to verify the corrective actions, she said.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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