Massachusetts officials have announced settlements with seven nursing homes after a state investigation into complaints of unsafe conditions and substandard care.
Attorney General Maura Healey said Wednesday "systemic failures" at the facilities led to injuries and deaths of residents.
The seven homes combined will pay more than $500,000 in fines and have agreed to update their procedures and improve staff training.
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Among cases cited by Healey was that of Candi Hitchcock and Sammi Dawley's mother, who fell 20 separate times at Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough and eventually died from internal bleeding.
"Our family had to watch her bleed out for 10 days," recalled Hitchcock, who attended the news conference with her sister.
She said that her mother had fallen at the facility, but that no one noticed or cared for her until Hitchcock arrived hours later. Two days later, when Dawley came for a visit, their mother was worse.
"She just was sitting there and her brain was bleeding," recalled Dawley.
Their mother, Betsy, never got to celebrate her anniversary with their father.
"She died an unnecessarily painful death. She was so looking forward for big celebration for their 70th wedding anniversary," recalled Hitchcock. "Our father stayed with her till the end. He was broken man."
The owners of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center said Wednesday that the fine by the attorney general's office was based on something that occurred more than three years ago, and that at that time, they "took extraordinary measures to improve upon the factors surrounding it."
According to the attorney general's office, the Westborough facility failed to implement necessary interventions after a patient fell 19 times. As a result, the facility must pay $37,500 and implement a three-year compliance program, which will include updated policies and procedures, annual training programs, and yearly audits.
"The inspiration to deliver a healthier, richer life for those we serve runs three generations deep in the Salmon family and is something we believe our entire team strives for each day as it cares for and serves each of our residents with dignity and respect," read a statement from Salmon Health.
Synergy Health Centers, which owns two of the nursing homes mentioned in the investigation, has also agreed not to participate in state-run health care programs for seven years.
Healey says every senior has the right to quality care and every family deserves peace of mind about their loved ones.
"These settlements hold facilities accountable and will help restore the trust families need when making critical decisions about the care of their loved ones," said Healey.
In addition to Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center and Synergy Health Centers, other nursing home facilities that have agreed to settlements with the attorney general's office include:
- Oxford Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center of Haverhill
- Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow
- Woodbriar Health Center of Wilmington and Braemoor Health Center of Brockton
- The Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Everett
- Wakefield Center