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Santa Fe Care Center

Santa Fe Care Center is one of two Medicare-certified nursing homes in Santa Fe. Recent health and complaint inspections have revealed an alarming history of nursing home neglect and abuse. If you or your family member has experienced a form of nursing home abuse at Santa Fe Care Center, Levin & Perconti can help.

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Skilled nursing facilities like Santa Fe Care Center have a legal obligation to provide quality care in a supportive, homelike environment. Yet an estimated one in six nursing home residents experiences abuse, according to the World Health Organization. 

Nursing homes are subject to annual inspections with additional inspections when the state receives complaints. Santa Fe Care Center has had 46 inspections during the 19-year period from 2004 through 2022, indicating the facility has had 27 complaint inspections, including 2 in 2022 alone.  

These citations include multiple instances of neglect. Nursing home neglect is a form of abuse that may have life-threatening consequences. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Santa Fe can help you get justice and hold the Santa Fe Care Center accountable if you or your loved one has been mistreated at the facility.

About Santa Fe Care Center

Santa Fe Care Center is a 120-bed for-profit skilled nursing facility that provides long-term nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and hospice. It is located at the following address: 

635 Harkle Road 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 
Phone: 505-982-2574 

The owner of Santa Fe Care Center is Diamond Care Santa Fe, which is affiliated with Diamond Care Health Network. This provider has historically required residents to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of admission, despite nursing homes being prohibited from requiring arbitration agreements as a prerequisite for admission to their facility.

When you enter a nursing home, an arbitration agreement could be buried within your admission’s paperwork. It is within your rights to refuse to sign this portion of the paperwork, and you or your loved one cannot be turned away from the facility for that reason alone. After an agreement is signed, you still have 30 days to rescind your agreement to arbitration.

Levin & Perconti strongly advises against signing arbitration agreements, which deprive residents of their right to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse, neglect, or other medical malpractice within the Nex Mexico court system.

Santa Fe Care Center Ratings

Santa Fe Care Center has a low Google review rating of 3 stars. It has also been rated as the worst of 3 facilities in a 25-mile radius by the Nursing Home Database. This facility’s overall rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is 1 star, the lowest rating available.

Santa Fe Care Center Nursing Home Abuse

The complaint inspection on October 20, 2022, revealed multiple instances of nursing home neglect. 

Reprisal Against Residents Exercising Their Rights 

Santa Fe Care Center retaliated against three residents who exercised their right to leave the facility early in response to receiving substandard care. In all three cases, Santa Fe Care Center refused to provide the residents with their medications and discharge paperwork. 

The administrator informed the inspector that the policy was that residents who chose to leave against medical advice would not receive medications or discharge paperwork as a matter of policy. The surveyor disagreed and cited the facility.

Improper Discharge of a Resident With COVID-19  

When a resident and his two family members contracted COVID-19 in the facility, the resident chose to leave due to the negative mental health effects of COVID isolation. He also had not received his prostate medication for three weeks.  

The nursing home classified the discharge as against medical advice and refused to provide his medications and paperwork. A physician told the inspector that the against-medical-advice classification was improper. 

Delayed Pain Management 

A resident left the facility against medical advice after a serious delay in receiving pain medication. Staff did not ask why she was leaving, made no effort to persuade her to stay, and refused to provide her medications or her paperwork. In addition to the citation for reprisal, the facility was cited for delayed pain management. 

Negligent Care of Motor Vehicle Collision Injuries  

Santa Fe Care Center failed to identify that a resident with multiple injuries from a motor vehicle collision had a broken foot and a burn. Staff forced him to walk on it and failed to treat the burn. His mother removed him and took him straight to the hospital after he told her he could no longer bear the pain.  

The facility refused to provide his medications or paperwork upon discharge. The burn injury was infected when he was admitted to the hospital.  

A review of the records showed that Santa Fe Care Center had no admission or progress notes and no care plan. The nursing home did not ask why he was leaving or attempt to persuade him to stay.  

In addition to the reprisal citation, the facility was cited for: 

  • Failure to implement a care plan within 24 to 48 hours of admission 
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care 
  • Failure to provide safe, appropriate pain management 
  • Failure to maintain accurate medical records  

Insufficient Pressure Ulcer Care 

Pressure ulcers (bedsores) are almost always caused by neglect. Santa Fe Care Center failed to provide appropriate pressure ulcer care and prevent new pressure ulcers from forming in at least one resident by failing to:  

  • Assess and document wounds weekly 
  • Document all pressure wounds and the condition of each wound  
  • Notify the resident’s health-care provider when the resident needed to be assessed for a potentially higher level of care

Staffing at Santa Fe Care Center

Santa Fe Care Center received the lowest available rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services when evaluated for staffing levels. Understaffing in nursing homes is a leading contributor to nursing home abuse and neglect.  

Each resident at Santa Fe Care Center receives an average of 2 hours and 33 minutes of nursing care per day. The national average is 3 hours and 45 minutes per day.

Health Violations at Santa Fe Care Center

Santa Fe Care Center has paid 15 federal fines totaling $139,182 in the past 3 years and had 2 payment denials by Medicaid and/or Medicare. Inspections during the past year have resulted in 14 citations. The national average is 8.5. 

2022 Annual Health Inspection 

The annual inspection completed March 24, 2022, resulted in Santa Fe Care Center being cited for the following deficiencies: 

  • Failure to assist a resident with showers according to her preferred shower schedule 
  • Failure to provide a restroom for visitors 
  • Inaccurate recording of a full-code hospice resident’s advance directives as do not resuscitate  
  • Failure to provide a clutter-free environment  
  • Failure to timely address resident grievances, with no response for more than a month in both cases reviewed 
  • Failure to date and label oxygen tubing in compliance with a physician’s orders  
  • Administering oxygen without a physician’s orders 
  • Failure to monitor a resident’s weight and intervene when the resident lost significant weight 
  • Unsafe food storage 

Complaint Inspections 

During the complaint inspection completed July 6, 2022, surveyors found that three staff members were allowed to return to work a mere four days after testing positive for COVID-19 in violation of the CDC guideline of a ten-day quarantine.

Quality of Care at Santa Fe Care Center

The quality of care at Santa Fe Care Center is rated average, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The below-average areas illustrate that a nursing home can receive an average rating for quality of care even with alarming findings of negligent care.  

Short-Stay Quality Concerns 

Short-stay residents at Santa Fe Care Center are more likely than the national average to experience: 

  • Emergency room visits: 21.3 percent compared to a national average of 11.8 percent 
  • New or worsened pressure ulcers: 6.7 percent compared to a 2.8 percent national average 

Short-stay residents at Santa Fe Care Center are less likely than the national average to experience improvement in mobility. 

Long-Stay Care 

Long-stay residents at Santa Fe Care Center are significantly more likely than the state and national averages to receive antipsychotic medications. The national average is 14.5 percent, and the state average is 16.8 percent. At Santa Fe Care Center, 22.6 percent of residents receive these medications.  

This is a red flag that this facility uses antipsychotic medications as chemical restraints for staff convenience rather than therapeutic purposes. 

Residents at Santa Fe Care Center are significantly more likely to experience worsened mobility and an increased need for help with daily activities.

What To Do if You Suspect Abuse at Santa Fe Care Center

If you suspect that your loved one may have experienced nursing home abuse or neglect at Santa Fe Care Center, you may have grounds to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit against Santa Fe Care Center. The priority is to protect your loved one’s safety. 

Report the abuse to the administrator. The nursing home is required to report and investigate all allegations of abuse. However, don’t stop there. You should also report the abuse to the authorities, which will ensure the abuse is appropriately addressed. The abuse should be reported to at least one of the following: 

Nursing home abuse is a crime that should also be investigated by law enforcement. You can file a report with the Santa Fe Police Department by calling 505-428-3710. If the abuse is ongoing or if you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. 

As soon as you secure your loved one’s safety, contact an experienced elder abuse attorney in New Mexico.

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

Levin & Perconti will assist you with reporting the abuse, and we will initiate our own investigation. You can count on our lawyers to provide fearless advocacy and fight for justice for your loved one.  

We are one of the most experienced nursing home abuse law firms in the nation with more than 200 years of combined experience. We take pride in giving vulnerable citizens a fair chance at justice against large, wealthy nursing home corporations that allow harm to occur.  

We consistently get remarkable results for our clients, such as: 

  • A $4.1 million record-breaking jury verdict for an 85-year-old woman injured as a result of a nursing home’s mismanagement of her medications 
  • A $2.7 million jury verdict for a 67-year-old man who passed away as a result of a fall at a nursing home 
  • A $2.8 million record settlement for a 59-year-old nursing home resident who developed multiple infected bedsores that took 4 years to heal 

When you need a lawyer due to nursing home abuse at Santa Fe Care Center, you do not have to stand alone. Levin & Perconti will fight for justice and hold the center accountable. Contact Levin & Perconti today for a free consultation.