As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact day-to-day life in the United States significantly, residents in nursing homes are still among the most at-risk populations for contracting the illness. In some instances, nursing home facilities aren’t managing outbreaks properly, resulting in more infections and deaths nationwide.
Just in Clark County, Ohio, a woman has accused a Springfield nursing home of increasing the spread of COVID-19, where 39 residents and four staff members have been diagnosed with the virus. Michelle Ali, whose 51-year-old mother, Melissa McNealy, resides at Allen View Health Center, was shocked after seeing the facility’s conditions after her mother was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Ali and her sister went to visit their mother the day they got the call she tested positive. While at the nursing home, Ali took photos and videos of the conditions, which she forwarded to Dayton 247 Now. The images depict contaminated mattresses and other items behind the building’s COVID-19 wing, N-95 masks and gloves scattered on the ground, and nurses not wearing gloves.
According to the Clark County Health District, Allen View has the second-highest number of current COVID-19 cases in the county. The facility with the highest number of cases in the county is Villa of Springfield, with 48 residents and 23 staff members currently testing positive.
Dr. Roberto Colon, with Premier Health, claims cases in nursing homes keep increasing because health care workers were originally taught to tough out illnesses: “This is changing how we take that approach because we want to make sure we are protecting our patients. We can’t take the chance that something that turns out to be a mild cold turns out to be COVID.”
In response to what she witnessed, Ali has submitted a complaint through the Ohio Department of Health in hopes that an investigation will be launched. Dayton 24/7 Now reached out to Allen View and its corporate offices but did not receive a response.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Ohio
If your loved one resides in a nursing home in Ohio and you’re concerned about how the facility is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, you have the option of filing your own complaint.
Through the Department of Health, the Bureau of Survey and Certification – Complaint Unit is responsible for investigating noncompliance allegations with state and federal rules and regulations. The Complaint Unit has the power to investigate nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, intermediate care facilities, home health agencies, hospice agencies, and other federal certified or ODH-licensed health care services or treatment providers.
If you choose to file a complaint, you’ll first want to take a look at the state’s Guide to Filing a Complaint Against a Health Care Facility. You have the option of calling the complaint line, emailing your complaint, or submitting an online complaint form.
Once a complaint is submitted, it will be investigated by the Bureau of Survey and Certification using the survey process for nursing homes. To improve the chances of a successful investigation, provide as much detailed information you can, including the facility’s name and address, the date of time of your concern, and identifiable resident and staff information.
In addition to filing a complaint, if you believe your loved one contracted COVID-19 in their nursing home because of the facility’s improper management of the outbreak, you may be able to pursue legal action against the facility or company. Thomas Law Offices can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we help families handle nursing home negligence cases.