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Care center fails inspection

by Susie Vasquez

Evergreen Mountain View Health Care nursing center in Carson City cannot accept new Medicare patients because the center has not passed a required inspection.

The restriction starts Saturday.

“Evergreen can still take new admissions, but they can’t accept Medicare payments,” said Martha Framsted, spokeswoman for the Nevada Division of Health.

Problems started for Evergreen after an Oct. 17 inspection by Nevada’s Bureau of Licensure and Certification found 29 deficiencies, including:

n Failure to evaluate the causes of hypoglycemia and to provide necessary care and services to prevent a hypoglycemic episode.

n The facility was short-staffed, had difficulty keeping residents clean and dry and did not report all unwitnessed falls to the appropriate agencies.

n Failure to provide adequate care and services to prevent pressure-sores developing in three of 26 residents.

Evergreen had 90 days to remedy these problems. Since that time, the center has been closely monitored by state officials, but during a reinspection Dec. 9 and 10, six deficiencies were found.

Doug McCoy, regional operations manager at Evergreen, said state officials did not proceed with a third inspection before the 90-day deadline.

Numerous improvements were made following those inspections, including 20 new employees in December and a new management team, he said.

McCoy said he does not expect the impact from this new restriction to be significant and the inspection, which will be unannounced, should occur sometime in the next two to three months. “We were in compliance with all requirements last week, to avoid any remedy that might be imposed by the state,” he said. “We have complied, but they have to verify.

“We feel very confident this facility is operating at a high level, and we’re looking forward to getting this resolved and moving on,” he said.

The problems were compounded by the deaths of six Mountain View residents Dec. 9. Four of those allegedly died of upper-respiratory illness. The deaths were investigated by state officials and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Two of the four patients with suspected respiratory infections were embalmed before test samples could be taken, but the other two tested positive for Group A streptococcus. One tested positive for influenza.

After further investigation, officials found the organism in a total of six patients and a third death in a patient with Group A strep came after the initial cluster.

Streptococcus is most often associated with mild illnesses, like sore throats and skin infections.

Rarely, the bacteria becomes invasive and causes blood infections. In some cases, it can cause respiratory illness and death.

Contact Susie Vasquez at svasquez@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.