Nursing home closed after state investigates medical neglect cases

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Poor medical care at a Woodlawn nursing home prompted state officials to close the home yesterday and begin relocating more than 50 residents to other nursing centers.

Windsor Ridge Nursing Center was cut off from receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments after the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene discovered that several patients were hospitalized after their medical care was neglected.

Deborah Deban, a lawyer for the nursing home's owners, Trinity Retirement Inc., did not return telephone calls yesterday.

Stephen Allen, president of a management company, Xavier Health Care Services Inc., said his company was brought into the nursing home in the 7600 block of Clays Lane in Woodlawn yesterday to help transfer the residents.

Carol Benner, the state's director of licensing and certification, said the state decided to move the Windsor Ridge residents after the nursing home staff failed three monitoring visits by state officials in the past six months.

State officials said one resident was hospitalized after the staff failed to monitor the resident's fluid intake. Another was taken to the hospital unconscious, with low blood sugar.

In one case, state officials reported, staff failed to notify a physician about abnormal lab tests. When the doctor was alerted 14 hours later, the patient was taken to a hospital.

State monitors also found that one resident was given the wrong medication, while another did not get blood thinner medication necessary to prevent blood clots.

Closing a nursing home "is a relatively unusual occurrence," said Benner. "It's the last resort. We don't like to move residents out of their homes, but when we have to, we'll do it."

Benner said the state has closed fewer than a dozen of the state's 270 nursing homes in the past decade.

Pub Date: 3/11/99

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