South Valley Care Center LLC
South Valley Care Center LLC has received Medicare’s highest overall rating, but with a staffing rating of average, this facility is not above reproach. The most recent quality inspection revealed that the facility may be overusing antipsychotic medications to keep patients sedated as a substitute for care. If your loved one has experienced South Valley Care Center LLC nursing home abuse, Levin & Perconti can help.
Every nursing home has a legal duty to provide quality care to its residents, which includes facilitating a safe, supportive environment where residents receive a reasonable standard of care.
State inspectors perform annual health inspections to ensure skilled nursing facilities are performing their duties following government standards. The results of these inspections are reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid then employ a 5-star rating system and publish inspection results to inform the public about each nursing home’s performance. South Valley Care Center LLC has an overall rating of 5 stars.
However, this does not mean South Valley Care Center LLC residents are safe from abuse and neglect. If you suspect your loved one of being mistreated at this facility, an Albuquerque nursing home lawyer at Levin & Perconti can help.
About South Valley Care Center LLC
1629 Bowe Lane SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
This facility provides long-term care only. Amenities include:
- Daily activities
- In-house podiatry services
- In-house dental services
- In-house psychiatric services
Health Violations at South Valley Care Center LLC
South Valley Care Center LLC has had 25 inspections in 16 years, from 2005 to 2021, which points to at least 9 complaint inspections. This facility has had 8 lawsuits filed against it.
This facility has not had any complaints in the last three years that have resulted in a citation. However, it has had two citations from infection control inspections in the last three years and one complaint inspection in 2021.
The overall health inspection rating is 5 out of a possible 5 stars with two health violations in the last year.
December 2021 Health Inspection
During the health inspection on December 15, 2021, the state inspector found one deficiency, which was a failure by the facility to prevent accident hazards and provide proper supervision to prevent such hazards.
A body pillow was positioned under a patient’s mattress, resulting in the mattress sloping toward the wall. This could have prevented the patient from getting out of bed. A CNA had positioned the body pillow in this manner to prevent the resident, a known fall risk, from getting up and falling.
This use of the body pillow was not part of the patient’s care plan, and the assistant director of nursing admitted it should not have been placed under the mattress. She also stated that staff would be retrained on the issue.
November 2021 Complaint Inspection
South Valley Care Center LLC was inspected on November 10, 2021, in response to a complaint that the facility had failed to report an unexpected death to the New Mexico Department of Health’s Division of Health Improvement as required by law.
The patient in question was pronounced dead by Emergency Medical Services. The administrator admitted it was an unexpected death but stated that it was not suspicious. The administrator told the inspector that the facility reported only suspicious deaths to the State Survey Agency, the Division of Health Improvement.
As a result of the failure to report, the facility was cited for failure to “timely report suspected abuse, neglect, or theft and report the results of the investigation to proper authorities.”
Quality of Care at South Valley Care Center LLC
Medicare has rated the quality of care at South Valley Care Center LLC as above average, or 5 stars. However, this facility has two serious areas of concern.
Overuse of Antipsychotic Medications
According to BMC Psychiatry, approximately 1.7 percent of adults nationwide take antipsychotic medications. In nursing homes, the percentage is much higher. The national average is 14.5 percent, and the New Mexico average is 16.8 percent.
At South Valley Care Center LLC, Medicare found that 34.7 percent of residents were prescribed antipsychotic medications. This is a serious concern and a potential form of abuse.
Antipsychotic medications are routinely overused by nursing homes to sedate patients perceived as difficult or high-maintenance. This use of antipsychotic medications is inappropriate.
Antipsychotic medications are proven dangerous for the elderly, particularly for dementia patients, with sudden death as a potential side effect. Other side effects include:
- Constant sleeping
- Cessation of usual activities
- Inability to socialize
- Inability to feed, bathe, or otherwise care for themselves
Sedating patients in this manner is a form of chemical restraint. One of the primary motivations for nursing homes to use these medications is understaffing.
Nursing homes tend to be severely understaffed, even when staffing levels are rated as average, such as South Valley Care Center LLC.
Influenza Immunization Deficiency
Inspectors found that only 28.7 percent of residents at South Valley Care Center LLC received a flu shot during the most recent flu season. The national and state averages are 95.2 and 95.1 percent, respectively.
Staffing at South Valley Care Center LLC
Although Medicare gave South Valley Care Center LLC a 3-star rating, their actual numbers are slightly lower than the national and state averages in numerous categories.
- South Valley Care patients receive an average of 3 hours and 13 minutes of nursing care, overall, compared to a national average of 3 hours and 46 minutes.
- The state and national averages for daily registered nurse (RN) care are 40 minutes per resident, but residents at South Valley Care receive an average of 26 minutes from RNs.
- Patients at South Valley Care Center receive an average of 34 minutes of LPN care compared to 53 minutes nationally.
- Residents at South Valley Care Center receive 0 minutes of therapy, on average, compared to 4 minutes nationally.
South Valley Care Center LLC has a higher-than-average nursing staff turnover rate of 64.9 percent compared to a national turnover rate of 53.5 percent. However, the registered nurse turnover rate at South Valley Care Center LLC is lower than the national average.
According to Medicare’s Care Compare tool, lower turnover rates are preferred because staff who remain employed with the same facility are more familiar with each resident and the facility’s policies and procedures.
What To Do if You Suspect Abuse at South Valley Care Center LLC
If you suspect your loved one is receiving inappropriate medication or experiencing another form of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation at South Valley Care Center LLC, you have the power to stop it.
If you suspect abuse, call the following agencies to file a report:
- The New Mexico Health Facility Complaints Hotline at 1-800-752-8649
- The New Mexico long-term care ombudsman at 1-866-451-2901
- Senior Protective Services at 1-800-432-2080
Upon receipt of a report of abuse, the New Mexico Department of Health Improvement will notify South Valley Care Center LLC, and the facility will have five days to investigate and provide a written follow-up report.
The long-term care ombudsman will provide advocacy services, including visiting your loved one and investigating the abuse.
If you suspect abuse in any form, a crime may have been committed against your loved one.You can reach the Albuquerque Police Department at 505-242-COPS (2677) to file a report.
If you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. After your loved one is safe, contact an attorney with experience handling nursing home abuse cases.
Levin & Perconti Will Fight for You
If your family member has experienced abuse at South Valley Care Center LLC, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Albuquerque can help. Our attorneys at Levin & Perconti have more than 200 years of combined experience standing up to nursing homes and recovering substantial compensation for their victims.
We understand the devastation abuse victims and their families experience when nursing homes violate their duty of care and cause harm. We also have the resources and experience to fight the large companies that profit from your loved one’s pain.
We have a track record of continued success, including the following notable results:
- $4.1 million record-breaking verdict for an 85-year-old woman who was injured when a nursing home mismanaged her medication
- $2.7 million settlement for a 67-year-old man’s estate after he died due to complications of a fall that occurred at a nursing home
- $2.8 million record-breaking verdict for a 59-year-old resident who developed multiple bedsores that took four years to heal
Nursing home owners have continued turning profits while residents lose their dignity and their quality of life in substandard facilities. Our compassionate team of experienced nursing home abuse attorneys will demand appropriate compensation for the harm they suffered while in the care of facilities such as South Valley Care Center.
Contact Levin & Perconti today to schedule a free consultation.