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Rio Rancho Center

Rio Rancho Center has earned the lowest rating available by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services due to extensive health violations, staffing shortages, and inadequate care. With three complaint inspections in 2022 alone, residents of the Rio Rancho Center face a high risk of nursing home abuse. If you or your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, Levin & Perconti can help. 

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Rio Rancho Center residents have a right to receive a reasonable standard of care in a safe, supportive environment. When a resident experiences maltreatment by nursing home staff, vendors, visitors, or other residents, the nursing home has breached its duty of care and committed medical malpractice.  

Residents at Rio Rancho Center have experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect by staff and other residents.

If you or your loved one has been abused or neglected, a Rio Rancho nursing home abuse lawyer at Levin & Perconti can help you hold the facility accountable. 

About Rio Rancho Center

Rio Rancho Center is a 120-bed for-profit facility contracted with the Department of Veterans Affairs that accepts Medicare and Medicaid. It is located at: 

4210 Sabana Grande SE 
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 

Rio Rancho Center offers the following services: 

  • Short-term rehabilitation 
  • Long-term care 
  • Respite care 
  • Palliative care 
  • Hospice care 

Rio Rancho Center is owned by Genesis Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest nursing home providers, which the United States Justice Department has referred to as an “unscrupulous provider.”  

Genesis Healthcare was sued 33 times in New Mexico for the wrongful death of nursing home residents from 2013 to 2018, according to an Associated Press News report. Rio Rancho Center has been named in at least three lawsuits. 

Rio Rancho Center Ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given this facility the lowest rating available. According to Nursing Home Database, Rio Rancho Center is the lowest-rated facility of 21 facilities within a 25-mile radius. It has a Google review rating of 3.1 stars out of 5. 

Rio Rancho Center is a special focus facility candidate, placing it on a list of the worst-performing nursing homes in the state. Becoming a special focus facility requires more frequent inspections and progressive enforcement.  

Failing to improve within a reasonable time can lead to the facility’s loss of Medicare and Medicaid certification and licensing

History of Nursing Home Abuse at Rio Rancho Center

Though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not specifically flagged Rio Rancho Center for abuse, this facility has been cited for failing to protect residents from abuse and to investigate and report abuse as required by state law. 

Abuse by Nursing Home Staff 

State inspectors found during the most recent health inspection that the facility failed to protect at least one resident from abuse. In September of 2022, a resident with severe dementia was roughly handled and verbally abused by a medication aid when the resident attempted to stand from her wheelchair.  

The facility failed to investigate the incident and report it to law enforcement, the state agency, and the licensing board. The perpetrator was not named in the file.  

Unwitnessed Injuries 

When staff discovered bruising on the same resident’s forehead, knee, and buttocks in October of 2022, the facility failed to timely report the incident to the Division of Health Improvement. This resident was a dementia patient who could not relate what had occurred.  

The incident should have been investigated and reported within five days, but the report was completed 15 days later, based on what information the administrator could find. This left no way to know whether the resident had fallen or experienced an assault. 

Resident-to-Resident Physical Abuse 

In September 2022, a male resident struck a female resident on the shoulder without provocation, resulting in the female resident receiving pain medication for a pain level of seven out of ten. She feared the resident until he was discharged. Law enforcement was never notified. 

In August of 2022, a resident threw an ashtray at a wheelchair-bound resident, hitting her on the head. The facility failed to report the incident to the Division of Health Improvement within two hours, as required by law, and reported it two days later. The follow-up report was filed seven days later instead of within the required five days.  

These dates were not documented. The administrator had to call the state agency to request the dates for the inspector. 

Resident-to-Resident Sexual Abuse 

In May of 2022, a male resident exposed himself to a female resident who was in her room. Despite the resident immediately pressing her call button and screaming for help, she reported that staff did not respond until 20 minutes later.  

Despite the resident having a history of sexually inappropriate behavior, the victim reported that staff acted as though they did not believe her, and the administrator defended and downplayed it. Instead, the nursing home ordered a psychiatric evaluation of the victim.  

The perpetrator’s room was across the hall, and the nursing home refused to move him. The victim reported feeling unsafe. The nursing home was cited for failure to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse and failure to report the incident to the state agency. The facility also failed to report three other abuse allegations.

Health Violations at Rio Rancho Center

During the last year, Rio Rancho Center has been cited for 24 health violations, significantly exceeding the national average of 8.5 violations. Rio Rancho Center has had 17 complaints that resulted in citations in the last year. This facility had 37 health inspections from 2005 to 2022. 

Routine health inspections generally occur once annually. Additional inspections are conducted when the state receives complaints. This would indicate that Rio Rancho Center underwent approximately 20 complaint inspections in 17 years, including three complaint inspections in 2022 alone. 

Annual Health Inspection 2022 

In addition to the citations for overt abuse during the annual health inspection on November 4, 2022, Rio Rancho Center was cited for numerous health and safety violations, many of which constitute neglect, a form of nursing home abuse.  

Lack of Discharge Planning  

Rio Rancho Center failed to develop and implement a discharge plan for a resident who continually requested to be discharged to a group home.  

The resident had been assessed a week before the inspection, and the social worker had told the inspector that community reintegration would be appropriate. However, discharge planning was not initiated.  

Failure to Provide Meaningful Activities 

Rio Rancho Center failed to provide activities to meet at least one resident’s needs who had told the facility that she enjoyed going outside, watching television, and listening to music. Inspectors observed her in her room lying in bed without stimulation. The room was dark with no television or radio.  

Failure to Prevent Accident Hazards and Provide Supervision  

A van driver for a company contracted by the nursing home transported a wheelchair-bound resident without securing her with a seat belt. The resident fell and bruised her knees and forehead.  

According to the resident, the driver was “snotty” when she requested to be buckled in, and the driver told her he did not believe in seat belts.  

After she fell, he buckled her in and told her she was not hurt. The facility failed to perform neuro checks and did not document: 

  • Witness statements of the nurse or driver 
  • The name of the driver 
  • The name of the employer 
  • Whether the incident was reported to the supervisor 
  • Whether the driver would transport residents again 

The inspector observed another resident with multiple bruises and small skin tears on her left forearm from her wrist to her elbow. She had an unpadded positioning rail on the left side of her bed without a doctor’s order.  

Nursing staff told inspectors she used it for positioning and had delicate skin. The unit manager stated he had not thought of padding and mentioned that Geri-Sleeves could also have been used to prevent bruising. 

Inadequate Continence Care 

Rio Rancho Center failed to provide a resident with assistance transferring to and from the toilet when she needed to urinate. When she pressed the call light to request assistance with toileting, staff failed to respond on time.  

Instead, staff documented her as incontinent and required her to use incontinence pads and pull-ups. A review of her records showed that no toileting program had been included in her care plan. 

Inappropriate Antipsychotic Medication Use 

Antipsychotic medications are associated with increased cerebrovascular events, greater functional decline, and higher mortality in dementia patients, according to Frontiers in Pharmacology. Antipsychotics are only recommended for dementia patients with extreme cases in which other interventions have failed. 

However, Rio Rancho Center was cited for inappropriately prescribing antipsychotic medications to two residents with dementia, including one without documented behavioral problems. 

Failure to Obtain Dental Care 

A resident with no teeth expressed a desire to obtain dentures at least as early as July 22, 2022, so she could eat regular food. On November 1, 2022, inspectors found that the resident’s care plan did not mention her lack of teeth, and the process to be fitted for dentures had not been initiated.  

Unsafe Storage of Food and Medications 

Rio Rancho Center was cited for leaving medication and treatment carts unlocked and unsecured without staff in attendance. This could have given residents, visitors, and unauthorized staff access to patient medications.  

Rio Rancho Center failed to maintain the refrigerator at a sufficiently cold temperature to protect residents’ food from spoilage and foodborne pathogens. 

September 2022 Complaint Inspection 

During a complaint inspection on September 23, 2022, inspectors found numerous deficiencies affecting resident care, dignity, and safety. 

Inadequate Assistance With Daily Needs 

Rio Rancho Center’s nursing staff failed to provide residents with assistance for daily living activities, including: 

  • Dressing 
  • Grooming 
  • Showering 

Inspectors observed one resident with a disheveled appearance who had been left in a hospital gown. A record review revealed that three of four residents sampled were not offered showers for extended periods, including a resident who received just one shower during the entire month of August. 

Inadequate Skin Care 

Rio Rancho Center provided inadequate care and treatment for the following skin and wound problems: 

  • Failure to provide care to a resident’s skin tears due to the incorrect entry of doctor’s orders 
  • Failure to change the dressings on a resident’s wound for the three days before the inspection despite a doctor’s orders to change the dressings once per shift 
  • Failure to initiate orders for a pressure wound and leg amputation at the time of a resident’s admission, resulting in infection of the amputation site and the need for emergency care  
  • Delay of treatment of a bedsore due to a lack of communication with an off-site provider 
  • Development of a new pressure injury with a subsequent failure to document or report the injury to other staff and providers 
  • Failure to document bruising on a resident’s stomach that was discovered during routine skin checks 

Inadequate Dietary Practices  

Rio Rancho Center’s dietary manager stopped serving milk at lunch and dinner, in violation of the registered dietician’s requirements. Residents who requested milk at these meals were denied.  

The inspector also observed the dietary manager knowingly serving food at the lukewarm temperature of 127 degrees Fahrenheit, when the requirement is at least 135 degrees. 

June 2022 Complaint Inspection 

During the inspection on June 9, 2022, Rio Rancho Center was cited for leaving a resident’s call light wrapped around her bedpost, so she was unable to access it. The resident reported to the inspector that she was having unaddressed breathing problems. 

March 2022 Complaint Inspection 

The March 15, 2022, complaint inspection resulted in a citation for allowing a visitor to perform a religious ceremony for 20 residents without wearing a face mask.

Understaffing at Rio Rancho Center

Understaffing in a nursing home is a significant risk factor for nursing home abuse and neglect. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given Rio Rancho Center a 2-star rating for staffing, which is below average.  

Residents at Rio Rancho Center receive an average of 2 hours and 52 minutes of direct care during weekdays, below the national average of 3 hours and 45 minutes. On the weekends, residents receive just 2 hours and 26 minutes of care per day, compared to a national average of 3 hours and 16 minutes. 

Quality of Care at Rio Rancho Center

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has identified the following quality concerns regarding resident care: 

  • The percentages of short-stay residents who received flu and pneumonia vaccines were 31.6 and 59.3 percent respectively, compared to national averages of 75.6 and 78.9 percent. 
  • Just 36.2 percent of short-stay residents are discharged at or above the expected ability to care for their own needs compared to a national average of 46.7 percent. 
  • Only 29.3 percent of short-stay residents at Rio Rancho Center reach the expected mobility level compared to 40.1 percent nationwide. 
  • Rio Rancho Center’s short-stay residents are less likely to experience a positive change in mobility and independence than the national average. 
  • As many as 14.1 percent of long-stay residents develop pressure ulcers compared to 8.1 percent nationwide and 8.2 percent statewide. 
  • Long-stay residents are more likely than the state and national averages to have indwelling catheters. 
  • Long-stay residents are more than twice as likely as the national average to experience worsened mobility and nearly twice as likely to experience an increase in their need for assistance with daily activities.

What To Do if You Suspect Abuse at Rio Rancho Center

If you suspect your loved one has experienced abuse at Rio Rancho Center, you have the power to stop it. The abuse should be immediately reported to the nursing home administrator and the state Division of Health Improvement. You can reach the Division of Health Improvement by calling 1-800-752-8649. 

You should also contact: 

How Levin & Perconti Can Help With Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

If you or your beloved family member has experienced abuse or neglect at Rio Rancho Center, you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation through a nursing home abuse lawsuit against Rio Rancho Center.  

Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience, and we are proud to be pioneers in the area of nursing home abuse and one of the first law firms in the country to prosecute these types of cases on behalf of older adults.

We provide fierce advocacy and skillful representation that consistently gets successful results for our clients:  

  • $4.1 million record-breaking jury verdict for an 85-year-old woman injured when a nursing home mismanaged her medications 
  • $2.7 million jury verdict for a 67-year-old man who died from complications of a fall at a nursing home 
  • $2.8 million record settlement for a 59-year-old nursing home resident who developed multiple bedsores that became infected and took four years to heal 
  • $1.5 million settlement on behalf of the family of a mentally impaired resident who died from burns after the nursing home failed to supervise the resident during cigarette smoking 

Our New Mexico elder abuse lawyers will provide your loved one with compassionate, personalized representation. Contact Levin & Perconti today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.