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Andover nursing home fined amid allegations of neglect and abuse

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 7:17 p.m.

Federal authorities have fined an Andover nursing home more than $185,000 amid allegations of resident neglect and abuse, and will continue to assess a fine of $1,000 per day until the facility is back in compliance.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said Wednesday by phone that the four staff members who allegedly perpetrated physical and verbal abuse against at least two residents of Victoria Falls Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, 224 E. Central, are no longer with the facility.

A registered nurse and two nurse’s aides “have been removed,” de Rocha said. A third aide did not return to work after learning she was under investigation, de Rocha said.

A woman who answered the phone at Victoria Falls on Wednesday evening said “no comment” then hung up immediately after a reporter from The Eagle identified herself. When she picked up the call, the woman said she was a dietary manager.

Victoria Falls operates both the nursing home and an assisted living facility in Andover. De Rocha said the assisted living center, 408 E. Central, is not involved in the abuse investigation.

KDADS informed Victoria Falls Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation’s management of the abuse allegations on March 26 after an inspector had interviewed 27 of the facility’s 63 residents, according to a news release announcing the fine. The inspection showed at least two residents suffered verbal and physical abuse, including one targeted by at least four staff members between Sept. 1 and April 10, the news release said; another had been repeatedly abused by a fellow resident.

In response, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid fined the nursing home $8,200 a day from March 26 to April 13, and $1,000 a day thereafter. The fines will continue until the facility is back in compliance, de Rocha said.

Victoria Falls also has been cited by KDADS for failing to investigate and self-report complaints of resident neglect and abuse and not ensuring residents are protected during investigations, according to the news release.

Victoria Falls “is being required to retrain their current employees,” de Rocha said. KDADS will re-interview residents and employees, she said, and “will revisit and reinspect them until they are back in compliance.” It is barred from admitting new clients until that time, she added.

KDADS routinely conducts unannounced inspections of the state’s adult care homes, de Rocha said. To report abuse and neglect, call the KDADS Abuse Hotline at 800-842-0078.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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