Richmond Pines Health Care and Rehabilitation Center located in Hamlet, North Carolina, has a warm, inviting website proudly announcing that “This facility is committed to providing the highest quality of care and services assuring human dignity and quality of life, for our residents, their families, and our employees.” It states further that together we “Work to exceed the expectations of our residents, families, and employees; Build bridges that span from our families at home to our families at work; Dedicate our efforts and performance to be of the highest quality; Share in the success of accomplishment.” Complete with lovely images of caretakers and clients, Richmond Pines looks like a nice place to entrust the care of one’s family members. But, looks can be deceiving.
Sandra D. and William J. Snipes filed a lawsuit in Richmond County Superior Court back in 2014 alleging that Richmond Pines provided less than adequate care for Sandra Snipes and this led directly to the woman’s “significant pain, permanent injury” and chronic issues with pneumonia. She ended up passing at the center in April 2015 from a bout of pneumonia. The lawsuit was refiled on behalf of Snipes’ estate.
The lawsuit specifically alleged that caregivers as Richmond Pines continued to administer a blood-thinning medication twenty-two times after the staff had been given orders to stop giving it to the patient. This, coupled with a fall Snipes’ suffered, caused her to have “a near-fatal bleed” which sent her to the emergency room “at the family’s insistence” rather than at the direction of the care providers. The staff, according to the filing, kept Snipes bedridden and, therefore, caused her illness to prevail.
“The allegations in this case were particularly egregious,” family attorney Kyle Nutt of Shipman and Wright Law Offices in Wilmington said. “They caused her to pass away from pneumonia by making her bedridden.”
The one-star rated center has certainly seen its fair share of litigation. A lawsuit has also been filed against Richmond Pines claiming negligence causing death after a patient was dropped by staff members. The lawsuit also alleges the patient suffered from an unattended leg wound that became infested with insects. And, yet another lawsuit against the center states a female resident’s leg was so badly decomposed it had to be eventually amputated. All three filings seem to indicate a pattern of negligence.
In fact, Richmond Pines has made it onto the Special Focus Facility (SFF) list created by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). This list is one that no nursing home operator wants to land on. It includes facilities that have been recognized as providing inadequate patient care.
Those securing a position as an SFF usually earn their spot after federal and state inspectors survey reports identify them as having more general problems than average, more safety and injury-related concern than average and, often, a pattern of serious issues that have persisted over a long period of time. These are centers that families specifically will want to avoid when searching for care for a loved one.