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HomeNewsMedical
Published: Tuesday, 3/19/2013

Hearing canceled to determine fate of nursing center

Local facility could lose its license

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Liberty Nursing Center of Toledo withdrew its request for a hearing to determine the fate of the facility last week. Liberty Nursing Center of Toledo withdrew its request for a hearing to determine the fate of the facility last week.
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A hearing to determine the fate of Liberty Nursing Center of Toledo’s state license was canceled by the company, and whether the facility can still sell its bed capacity to another nursing home remains in question.

Although the facility is now closed for patient care, its parent company, Liberty Health Care Corp., last week withdrew its request for the hearing, which was supposed to take place Monday.

Tess Pollock, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health, said a revocation order will be “mailed to the facility shortly.” The Ohio Department of Health sent two letters containing reasons for the proposed license revocation to the facility, on Aug. 9 and Nov. 23.

After the order is received, Liberty will have 15 days to file an appeal in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. If the company declines to file an appeal during that time, its license will be revoked.

The nursing center, 2005 Ashland Ave., has been aware of the potential loss of its state license since August, after several alleged abuse allegations.

Several surveys were done by the Ohio Department of Health, which noted that center staff “failed to immediately report an allegation of resident to resident sexual abuse to the administrator, take action to protect residents after an allegation of abuse was made, and immediately initiate an investigation into the incident.”

An Aug. 8 survey revealed that a male resident, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and delusional disorders, with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, was observed “lying on top of a female resident on the bed in her room,” on July 26, 2012, according to the report. His pants were removed and an incontinence brief that the female resident wore had also been removed. The female resident suffered from short and long term memory problems and partial paralysis, according to the report.

Twenty minutes after the incident, the male resident’s psychiatrist was notified and the male resident was sent to a local hospital three hours later.

According to the survey, medical staff examined the female resident and determined the man did not have sexual contact with her. Liberty did not proceed to notify the woman’s guardian, or file reports with either the Toledo Police Department or the Health Department, the survey indicated.

In December, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services fined Liberty $36,400, and both Medicare and Medicaid payments were terminated for the facility in January. About 75 remaining residents were required to leave the facility by Feb. 7.

When asked whether the company is expected to appeal, Ms. Pollock said, “I wouldn’t be able to speculate on that."

A woman who answered the phone at Liberty’s Ashland Ave. business office Monday declined to comment about the status of the license, saying she did not know anything about it.

The administrator was out and unavailable for comment but would be returning today, she said.

Since last year, there have been at least three administrators of the facility, according to documents from the state’s health department. The most recent administrator, according to health department documents, was Ralph Buchholz.

Liberty is owned by Liberty Health Care Corp. and includes many other facilities across Ohio, including a facility in West Toledo, which is at 2051 Collingwood Blvd.

Contact Kelly McLendon at:

kmclendon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6522, or on

Twitter @KMcBlade.



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