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Local nursing facility faces multi-million dollar lawsuit

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Also, the lawsuit claims Lebanon Health and Rehab and its parent companies failed to comply with state and federal regulations pursuant to patient care. The complaint also alleges regulations were violated relative to the facilitys participation in the Medicare program.


Further accusations state Lebanon Health and Rehab also violated the Tennessee Nursing Home Residents Rights Act, or Tennessee Code Annotated 68-11-201 as well as TDOH regulations, including Nursing Homes Rules and Regulations 1200-8-6.


Included in these violations, the complaint claims the facility failed to provide necessary services to maintain Montgomerys health and welfare and failure to maintain accurate medical records.


TDOH conducted a complaint investigation at Lebanon Health and Rehab from July 25-29 and Aug. 1-3, 2011. A report issued based on the investigations findings stated, The facilitys failure has caused or is likely to cause serious harm, injury impairment or death to four residents. One of those residents has been identified as Montgomery.


Montgomery was admitted to the nursing home-like center on Feb. 7, 2011, and according to the states review of lab reports, the patient required frequent medication to keep his potassium level within the normal range of 3.4 to 5.1 mmol.


According to the states report, Montgomery experienced a high potassium level of 6 mmol on March 3, 2011 and a critical level of 8.4 mmol on March 8.


In their investigation, the state indicated the facilitys records revealed no documentation the physician had been notified of the abnormal lab result on March 3.


The report stated a fax of the March 3 lab report showing the high potassium level was sent to the attending physicians office on March 7. In an interview with a Registered Nurse, the RN told state investigators the lab report was found on a desk at Lebanon Health and Rehab and the RN faxed the results to the physician.


The state also interviewed the attending physician, who reportedly denied receiving the fax of the March 3 result and said if the fax had been received and reviewed, instructions would have been to administer potassium-lowering medication.


Montgomerys potassium reached a critical level on March 8, and the state indicated reports at the facility showed the lab representative notified an RN of the critical potassium level at 5:57 p.m.


According to the states report, the daily notes at the facility indicated an RN attempted to notify the attending physician by answering service at 7 p.m. and the notes claimed the physician did not return the call until 7:45 p.m.


However, when the state checked the physicians answering service call logs, the call from Lebanon Health and Rehab was reportedly not received until 7:50 p.m. with the RN leaving a message for the physician.


Also, the nurses notes claimed that an ambulance was called at 8:10 p.m., however review of emergency services transport call records revealed the call was received at 8:37 p.m.


Further review of the records showed the ambulance arrived at 8:50 p.m., departed the facility at 9:14 and arrived at the Emergency Room at 9:17 p.m. The states report also indicated there was evidence found through interviews that indicated communication between staff was inadequate to ensure the wellbeing of the resident.


Montgomery died at 9:35 p.m. on March 8, 2011.


Representatives of the TDOH indicated that following the investigation, the violations were corrected and Shelley Walker, spokesperson for the TDOH, said the 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, 2011.


Walker said the total monetary penalty was in excess of $460,000.


The complaint alleges that Lebanon Health and Rehab personnel failed to keep Montgomery safe by inadequately monitoring his potassium levels and providing the required healthcare services.


Also, the complaint faulted the facility for failing to communicate in a timely manner with Montgomerys attending physician of his high and critical potassium levels shown in lab reports.


According to the complaint filed by Denton, the family of Montgomery is seeking a judgment to be determined at trial, but in excess of $4 million. Also, the complaint asks for a judgment that will adequately punish the Defendants so that they will not continue these practices in hopes of preventing others from being hurt in an amount to be determined, but in excess of $5 million.


The complaint indicates that Lebanon Health and Rehab is owned and licensed by Sava SeniorCare Lebanon Operating Company, LLC, located at 1 Ravinia Drive, Suite 1500, Atlanta, GA.


Also, the complaint identifies Sava SeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC, located at 2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400, Duluth, GA, as the managing and operating services for Lebanon Health and Rehab.


Also identified in the complaint are Plaintiffs Maria McCaleb, former administrator of Lebanon Health and Rehab, and employees Sherry Vantrease, Teresa Pinson, Dorothy Heird, Frances McBride, Charles Reedy and Tonia Mattison.


Annaliese Impink, spokesperson for Sava SeniorCare declined to comment, noting, to date, we have not received a lawsuit involving the Lebanon Health and Rehabilitation Center.


Lebanon Health and Rehab administrator Kerry Dickerson could not be reached for comment by press time for this article.


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


Aug. 24, 2011: Local facility fined $460k by TN Dept. of Health


Aug. 16, 2011: Patient's death prompts state probe of healthcare facility


Aug. 12, 2011: State slow to comply with violation report


Aug. 10, 2011: Dept. of Health cites local nursing home

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