9News’ 9Wants to Know investigated why nursing homes are illegally dumping or abandoning vulnerable residents in hospitals. 113 at-risk adults were stranded in Denver-area hospitals on a single day in September. Hospitals said 31 of those adults were left by another facility, including assisted-living and nursing homes who won’t let the patients come back.
“It is cruel. It is cruel,” said Eileen Doherty, the executive director of the Colorado Gerontological Society, a group that advocates for seniors.
9Wants to Know obtained the reports from CDPHE on this case and six others since January 2017 where nursing homes were cited for a deficient practice related to improper discharges. 9Wants to Know learned the state had substantiated at least 40 complaints against nursing homes related to the improper discharge of residents over the last year and a half.
9Wants to Know reviewed the nursing home deficiency reports and found:
- In five of the seven cases, the adults who were improperly discharged had a known mental health condition or disability including dementia, depression, bipolar disorder or delusions and hallucinations
- The tenants ranged in age from 38 to 75 years old
- Nursing homes were cited for a range of issues related to “discharging” residents, including a failure to identify a safe place for them to go or not allowing the residents to return after being treated at the hospital.
One of the worse offenders is SavaSeniorCare. A national for-profit chain with over a billion in revenue. A Sava nursing home in Greeley called Kenton Manor dumped a resident suffering from seizures. The administrators willfully defied state regulations and got rid of the resident with no proper plan of action, according to state inspection reports obtained by 9Wants to Know. According to the report, after the resident was left in the lobby of his former independent living facility, “the resident had an episode of vomiting and three Fentanyl patches were found on his back; one of the patches was a day old and the others were undated.” Of course, SavaSeniorCare blamed it on the resident’s “behavior”.