Lincoln nursing home cited, fined for overmedicating patient

Published: Saturday, Mar. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 - 11:58 am

The California Department of Public Health on Friday issued its strongest citation and imposed a $100,000 fine against a Lincoln nursing home after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 2011 death of an 82-year-old stroke patient who had been in the facility's care.

Regulators issued the Class AA citation against Lincoln Meadows Care Center for overmedicating the patient with the blood thinner Coumadin, according to the department's report.

The unidentified patient was left partially paralyzed by a stroke in 2005 and entered the care facility a year later, said Foundation Aiding the Elderly founder Carole Herman, who filed the complaint with state regulators on behalf of the patient's family.

The patient fell from his wheelchair on May 26, 2011, hitting his head and leaving him with a black eye and facial bruises, according to nursing home records cited in the department's report.

"He should have been immediately hospitalized after his fall," Herman said.

At his daughter's insistence, the man was hospitalized four days later and found to have a subdural hematoma, low blood pressure and multiple organ failure, the department's report said, and hospital admission records indicate his Coumadin levels were 18 times normal levels.

He died on June 4, 2011, at a Roseville nursing home, where he had been transferred for comfort care.

Lincoln Meadows' website says it's the only skilled nursing facility between Roseville and Marysville.

When the patient died, Herman said, the nursing home was owned by Horizon West Healthcare, which in 2010 was hit with $29.1 million in elder abuse damages in connection with the death of a patient at another of its facilities.

Representatives from Lincoln Meadows' current owner, Plum Healthcare of Rocklin, did not return calls seeking comment.

Call The Bee's Anita Creamer, (916) 321-1136.

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