Heartland Nursing Homes

Heartland Nursing Homes Reveal Patterns of Abuse and Incompetence

A lot of thought and consideration goes into moving a loved one into nursing home care, and somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re probably wondering about the likelihood of abuse. That’s understandable.

After all, reports of nursing home abuse are rising, with an estimated five million cases occurring nationwide. In Illinois alone, as many as 19,000 cases are reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health each year. How do you prevent your family member from becoming a statistic?

Nursing home abuse cannot be completely prevented, but you can mitigate the risk by taking great care in selecting the best possible nursing home for your relative. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti regularly research and review information about the quality of care provided at Illinois nursing homes so we can understand what our clients have been through. We have learned that facilities with good government-awarded ratings and clean health inspection reports have fewer instances of abuse than facilities with low ratings and a high number of health citations.

It is our goal to help Illinois residents learn how to do this research themselves so they too can recognize the signs of a good versus a bad nursing home and be better prepared to make the best choice possible for their elderly loved ones. Let’s look at what this kind of research can tell us about Heartland Health Care nursing homes.

Taking a Closer Look at Heartland Nursing Homes

Research is the key to finding the best nursing homes. Our preferred resources are the quarterly reports of nursing home violators published by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Medicare’s nursing home compare website. On these sites, you can review government ratings and health inspection citations for the nursing homes in your area.

Each year, Medicare rates nursing homes on a five-star scale from Much Below Average to Much Above Average based on several categories, such as staffing, health inspections, and quality measures. These ratings give you a quick look at the overall quality of nursing homes. Facilities with low ratings are more likely to foster abusive environments, whereas nursing homes with average to high ratings tend to be safer.

We encourage families to read nursing home health inspection reports as well, to get a better understanding of the dangers found in particular Illinois nursing homes. Our advice is to place loved ones only in nursing homes with fewer than average health citations and avoid those facilities with more than the average number of citations.

So how do the Heartland Health Care nursing homes stand up to the scrutiny of the IDPH and Medicare? The Heartland network was absorbed by the ManorCare network of nursing homes recently, but we will look specifically at those facilities still under the Heartland name. These locations claim to provide individualized post-hospital and skilled nursing care in a comfortable environment with the goal of making recuperation smoother and safer for patients. Do they meet this goal?

Our research has revealed the Illinois Heartland Health Care nursing homes to have a mix of excellent and disappointing performance results. While all have Average or Much Above Average staffing ratings indicating appropriate staff-to-resident ratios, the Galesburg and Moline locations have disconcerting Below Average health inspection ratings. On the other hand, Heartland Health Care Center-Henry has perfect five-star Much Above Average ratings all around.

Based on ratings alone, these results seem to indicate that the Henry location is above suspicion, while it may be best to steer clear of the Galesburg and Moline facilities. But is this the complete picture?

Life in a Heartland Nursing Home

Despite generally fair ratings, there are a number of problematic patterns revealed in the health inspection reports for the Illinois Heartland nursing homes. This is a prime example of why Illinois citizens should look at all aspects of a nursing home’s performance. A facility might do well in one area, but poorly in another. Some faults might also hide behind good ratings due to a technicality. This is why it is vital to get a complete picture of a nursing home’s strengths and weaknesses before moving someone in.

For example, while Heartland Health Care Center-Henry has an impressive Much Above Average rating in everything, it is not without its faults. It has a perfect score for health inspection reports because it only has three health citations.

But these citations are not minor. All involve a case of alleged abuse that was not handled properly. A resident had bruises of an unknown origin and the facility failed to follow proper investigation and reporting procedures. This leaves one wondering if other cases of abuse have been similarly mishandled and never discovered.

Similarly, Heartland Health Care Center-Moline also faced abuse allegations recently. The facility failed to manage a resident’s violent behaviors, resulting in physical attacks on three other residents. Cases like this and the one at the Henry location indicate a general disregard for abuse prevention procedures.

Another pattern observed across the Heartland facilities’ health inspection reports is a failure to keep proper documentation of diagnoses and interventions. This can prevent residents from receiving proper medical treatment and care. Some of these citations include:

  • Failure to ensure each resident receives and the facility provides necessary behavioral health care and services.
  • Failure to provide the appropriate treatment and services to a resident who displays or is diagnosed with dementia.
  • Failure to develop a complete care plan within 7 days of the comprehensive assessment; and prepared, reviewed, and revised by a team of health professionals.

While all care facilities will have the occasional mistake, it is a red flag when you begin seeing patterns of similar issues cited in these reports. It is up to you to look for possible patterns and to decide if that pattern is something you can accept or if you need to look elsewhere for nursing home care.

Expert Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys

Nursing home abuse will always be a possibility, but you can take measures to prevent your family member from becoming a victim and to stop abuse in its tracks if it does occur. One way to stop nursing home abuse is to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

If you or a relative have suffered harm or neglect at a Heartland nursing home, Levin & Perconti can help. As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse law, Levin & Perconti has seen what nursing home abuse does to vulnerable seniors, and we are dedicated to bringing abusers to justice. We handle all cases of nursing home abuse, including but not limited to:

Most Illinois nursing homes are for-profit, so the best way to hold them accountable is to win some sort of compensation from them. To date, Levin & Perconti have won over $160 million in verdicts and settlements for Illinois nursing home victims, and we have the expertise and experience to win for you too.

Begin your fight for justice today with a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872. We are on your side.

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