Uptown Rehabilitation Center

Uptown Rehabilitation Center’s history is rife with safety concerns and severe deficits in addressing patient needs. If your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse at Uptown Rehabilitation Center, an Albuquerque nursing home lawyer at Levin & Perconti can help.

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Nursing homes that fail to protect residents from abuse and neglect are civilly liable for medical malpractice, and the individuals directly responsible may also be criminally liable. Nursing home residents are often unable to self-advocate, making them easy targets for abuse by uncaring individuals. 

The Albuquerque nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti are dedicated to being the voice for innocent nursing home residents who have been mistreated and endangered by the very facilities they trusted to keep them safe.

About Uptown Rehabilitation Center

Uptown Rehabilitation Center is a 134-bed facility located at: 

7900 Constitution Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone: (505) 296-5565 

Uptown Rehabilitation Center provides the following health care services: 

  • Short-stay care
  • Long-term care 
  • Respite care 
  • Palliative care 
  • Rehabilitation therapy 
  • Hospice care 

The facility has a garden courtyard area with scenic views. Residents have access to a beauty parlor, barber shop, computer with internet access, and wireless internet. Uptown Rehabilitation Center is VA-contracted and accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

Who owns Uptown Rehabilitation Center?

Uptown Rehabilitation Center is owned by Genesis Healthcare, a for-profit corporation that owns hundreds of nursing homes throughout the United States, including 25 in New Mexico. Genesis Healthcare is headquartered in Pennsylvania and has a longstanding record of underfunding and understaffing its nursing homes.  

In 2017, Genesis Healthcare settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department for $53.6 million for filing Medicare and Medicaid claims for unnecessary services and “grossly substandard care.” This action led the Justice Department to refer to the company as an unscrupulous provider.

Uptown Rehabilitation Center Ratings

Uptown Rehabilitation Center has an overall Medicare Rating of two stars, which is below average. It has a 3.4-star rating in Google reviews. According to Nursing Home Database, the facility is ranked 11 out of 19 facilities within a 10-mile radius and 12 out of 21 facilities within a 25-mile radius.

Health Inspections

Medicare performs health inspections annually or more often if a nursing home receives complaints or has a history of multiple deficiencies. Uptown Rehabilitation Center had 43 health inspections from 2005 to 2022, an excess of 26. Two of the three inspections in 2022 were complaint inspections. 

Uptown Rehabilitation Center’s overall health inspection rating is below average, or two stars. The facility received 16 complaints resulting in citations in the past three years.  

During the last 12 months, Uptown Rehabilitation Center had 29 deficiencies, substantially exceeding the national and state averages of 8.4 and 15.5.

August 2022 Complaint Inspection

The most recent complaint inspection on August 18, 2022 revealed several deficiencies.

Failure to Notify the Resident, Doctor, and Family Member of Changes in the Resident’s Health Status 

Inspectors found that Uptown Rehabilitation Center neglected to track, document, and report changes in a dementia patient’s appetite and eating patterns. The patient was a known nutrition risk.  

After more than a week of the patient consuming insufficient food and fluids, the patient’s daughter brought the patient’s condition to the attention of the nursing staff. The patient was admitted to the emergency room the next day with malnutrition and dehydration 

Failure to Respond to All Alleged Violations  

A nurse found a patient on the floor after an “unwitnessed fall.” Nursing homes are required to investigate the cause of such incidents, but this was never done.  

Failure to Develop a Timely Care Pan for Patients with Wandering Risks 

Medicare inspectors investigated the care plans for three patients with wandering risks and found that the facility failed to develop a plan of intervention for two of the three patients.  

Failure to Complete the Required Neurological Examinations of Patients Who Had Fallen 

When a patient experiences an unwitnessed fall, a nursing home is required to provide frequent neurological examinations in order to rule out potential traumatic brain injuries, which could worsen if left untreated. 

Two of the three patients reviewed experienced unwitnessed falls in May and June 2022 but did not receive the required neurological examinations. In one patient, two of the required examinations were missed. The other patient received none.  

Failure to Administer Prescribed Medication 

Inspectors found that nursing staff failed to administer physician-ordered pain medication to a dementia patient with leg pain.  

Failure to Offer Alternative Meals 

Nursing facilities are required to offer patients choices in the food they eat, but inspectors observed that patients who refused food because they did not like the meals were not offered alternative meals. One patient reported having missed “a few” meals as a result.

May 2022 Complaint Inspection

During the inspection on May 31, 2022, Medicare found that Uptown Rehabilitation Center failed to address the threats of abuse a resident regularly received from her roommate. According to the report, the roommate had threatened to assault her four times when she did the following: 

  • Raised her foot and threatened to kick her in the head 
  • Threw a plate warmer cover at her head
  • Placed her hands on her head and threatened her while she was sitting in a wheelchair  
  • Attempted to close a door on her 

The nursing home also failed to report the incidents to the New Mexico Department of Health. 

November 2021 Complaint Inspection

On November 9, 2021, inspectors discovered that at least two residents were not receiving regular showers, and a patient’s power of attorney complained that patients were going a week at a time without showers. No showers were documented from May 1, 2021, to October 7, 2021. 

Medicare surveyors also found that Uptown Rehabilitation Center failed to maintain a home-like environment for the residents due to the following deficiencies: 

  • Poor maintenance of the garden area 
  • Dirty visitation plexiglass 
  • Residents smoking within 50 feet of the building entrance 
  • Trash and linens lying on the floor in patient rooms 

One resident complained that her room was “filthy,” and her diaper change from eight hours ago was still in her room.

Staffing

Medicare’s rating for Uptown Rehabilitation Center’s staffing is average. However, staff turnover is higher than the national and state averages. This is common in facilities owned by Genesis Healthcare. High staff turnover indicates employees are overworked and poorly compensated, and it is linked to a reduced quality of care. 

Uptown Rehabilitation Center residents receive above-average hours of care from registered nurses, the nursing staff with the highest level of training, but overall nurse staff hours per resident are slightly below average.  

This may indicate staff hours from certified nursing assistants, who typically provide the majority of direct care, may be significantly lower than average. 

Quality Measures

Despite the serious deficiencies, Medicare has rated Uptown Rehabilitation’s quality of care as above average

Short-Stay Quality Measures

Medicare has given Uptown Rehabilitation Center the highest possible rating of five stars for quality of short-stay care. However, the occurrence of bedsores in short-stay residents is more than double the national average at 7.8 percent compared with 2.9 percent.  

The percentage of residents with the expected level of mobility upon discharge is only 33.3 percent. The national average is 40.1 percent.

Long-Stay Quality Measures

Medicare has rated Uptown Rehabilitation Center’s long-stay quality of care at four stars, which is above average. However, Medicare has identified some areas of concern. 

  1. The facility has a slightly higher-than-average occurrence of pressure ulcers compared with state and national averages.
  2. As many as 28.9 percent of Uptown Rehabilitation Center residents experience reduced mobility, a concerning contrast to the 17.2 percent nationally and 19.2 percent statewide. 

The reduced mobility and increased need for assistance with daily tasks are inherently associated with the higher incidence of pressure ulcers.

Margaret P. Battersby Black working at desk

Safety Concerns at Uptown Rehabilitation Center

Integra Med Analytics reports that the fall and trauma rate at Uptown Rehabilitation Center is more than double the state and national averages. Based on the deficiencies Medicare inspectors uncovered, this facility has shown a tendency to underreport falls, so the true numbers are difficult to ascertain.

History of Nursing Home Abuse at Uptown Rehabilitation Center

This facility has not been flagged for a history of abuse. However, the facility’s handling of the case involving the violent roommate is concerning and raises questions as to whether there are other unreported incidents of abuse. The incident involving the malnourished patient that went to the emergency room is a clear case of negligence.

Cases Filed Against Uptown Rehabilitation Center

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the family of a dementia patient sued Uptown Rehabilitation Center for negligence leading to the patient’s untimely death in 2019. The patient, who was restricted to a pureed diet, wandered into the dining room unsupervised and choked to death while attempting to eat a hot dog. 

In October 2022, the court found that Uptown Rehabilitation Center was negligent and awarded the family $758,000. Videotape evidence of the incident was unavailable because the nursing home allowed the footage to be erased when new footage was recorded, claiming this was automatic after 30 days. 

In an unusual ruling, the judge imposed the most severe sanction available against the facility for spoliation of evidence while commenting that this may have been an intentional coverup. The facility was also fined $22,555 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in late 2019 for the incident. 

What to Do If You Suspect Abuse at Uptown Rehabilitation Center

If you suspect that your loved one has been abused, neglected, or exploited at Uptown Rehabilitation Center, you have the power to put a stop to it and hold the facility accountable for allowing the abuse to occur.  

New Mexico provides the following avenues to report abuse: 

A long-term care ombudsman is a patient advocate for residents of long-term care facilities who can visit your loved one and investigate the abuse. After you report the abuse, Uptown Rehabilitation Center will have five days to investigate and report its findings to the Division of Health Improvement Complaints Unit.  

If you believe your loved one is unsafe, call 911. If you believe a crime has been committed against your loved one, contact the Albuquerque Police Department at (505) 242-COPS (2677) to file a report.  

After you have addressed the safety of your loved one, contact an Albuquerque nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible so you can pursue civil damages.

Michael F. Bonamarte, IV working at desk

Levin & Perconti Will Fight for You

Genesis Healthcare is a large nursing home corporation with vast resources to evade liability. Holding large companies like Genesis Healthcare accountable requires the assistance of a skilled nursing home attorney with trial experience and access to expert witnesses. 

Levin & Perconti has been standing up to nursing homes since 1992. We are passionate about advocating for our most vulnerable citizens who otherwise would not be able to advocate for themselves.  

Our skill and dedication to our clients have helped us achieve the following case results: 

  • $2.7 million jury verdict for the family of a 67-year-old nursing home resident who died as a result of a fall at a nursing home 
  • $2.8 million settlement against a nursing home and physician that allowed a 59-year-old resident to develop bedsores that took four years to heal 
  • $1.5 million settlement against a nursing home after a mentally impaired resident died from burns after an unsupervised smoking incident 

If you are considering a nursing home abuse lawsuit against Uptown Rehabilitation Center, Levin & Perconti will stand by your family and fight for the justice your loved one deserves. Contact us today for a free consultation.