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Johnson City nursing home appealing fine imposed after investigation of patient injury

Rex Barber • Jul 9, 2013 at 5:09 PM

A fine has been imposed on a Johnson City assisted living facility following an investigation that alleges a certified nurse assistant injured a resident and allowed another to sit in filth for hours.

The incidents took place at Asbury Place, 108 W. Myrtle Ave., in August and November 2012. The facility has been assessed a $1,250-per day fine as a result of the investigation.

Information about the investigation was in a Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report provided by agency spokeswoman Shelley Walker.

“Surveyors from the Department of Health conducted a complaint investigation at Asbury Place May 28-June 4,” Walker wrote in an email. “Surveyors identified four federal harm-level deficiencies. TDH staff members have revisited the facility since that time and determined the deficiencies have been corrected.”

According to the report, a CNA, who was not identified in the report, held down a resident and force-fed that resident a banana. This was denied by the CNA, but it was confirmed that CNA improperly lifted the resident up in bed on the night of Nov. 4-5.

The report indicates the patient had a fractured wrist and that it was also bruised.

An agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation interviewed the CNA and confirmed the inappropriate repositioning of the resident.

The CNA said during the investigation that the wrong thing was done by trying to move the resident alone and that help should have been sought.

During the investigation, the CNA’s personnel file was reviewed. This revealed that on August 31, a resident who was under the care of this CNA was left sitting in his own bowel movement for a long time.

The resident had not been changed or repositioned in five hours, according to the report.

It was clear the mess on the resident had not just happened, according to the report.

“It was evident... hadn’t been changed for hours,” according to one statement in the report.

Mark de Fluiter, administrator of the Asbury Place in Johnson City, confirmed a fine of $1,250 per day has been imposed on the facility retroactive to Nov. 5.

“I am currently working through an appeal process,” de Fluiter said regarding that fine.

de Fluiter said the CNA at the center of the investigation has not worked at Asbury Place since the November incident.

He said in an emailed statement that the health, safety and well-being of every resident at Asbury Place is the top priority of each employee and called the allegations “troubling and deeply personal.”

When the injured resident informed the staff of the incident, de Fluiter said TBI and other state authorities were immediately notified.

“We also notified the resident’s family members and implemented a corrective plan to prevent this from ever happening again,” de Fluiter wrote in the email. “This is related to the behavior of one employee, who was terminated as a result of our investigation.”

de Fluiter said the state accepted Asbury Place’s response and that the case was closed.

“It is my hope the actions of one person do not detract from the good care our employees provide each and every day,” he wrote.

TBI Public Information Officer Kristin Helm said agents have consulted with the district attorney and that no criminal investigation will be opened.

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