Stories of the year: Hamlet nursing home battles lawsuit, federal fines


By Christine S. Carroll - Staff Writer



Daily Journal file photo Richmond Pines Health Care and Rehabilitation Center was found responsible for the death of a former patient and was forbidden from filing for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements as a result of a series of infractions documented by inspectors.


STORIES OF THE YEAR

The Daily Journal is reviewing Richmond County’s top 10 stories of 2017. These are the stories we think had the largest impact on the community.

Long plagued by regulatory issues and fines, the owners of Richmond Pines nursing home outside Hamlet were declared responsible for the death of a former patient.

In October, Richmond County Superior Court ruled that Richmond Pines Health Care and Rehabilitation Center caused “significant pain, permanent injury” and, eventually, the death by pneumonia of Sandra Snipes of Wilmington in April 2015.

The court ordered Britthaven, Principle Long-Term Care and Spruce LTC Group to pay $1.4 million to the family of Snipes, who had entered Richmond Pines in 2011 after a fall and resulting hip replacement. Snipes was 61, had been ambulatory before the accident and was scheduled to receive therapy so she could walk again.

But, the court ruled, caregivers had failed to stop blood thinners when prescribed, allowing Snipes’s health to degenerate and Snipes to become susceptible to dangerous bleeding — especially after an incident in which caregivers dropped Snipes while trying to return her to bed after therapy.

The accident never was reported, but family members saw a deterioration in Snipes’s health soon after and managed to get her to a hospital. She underwent a second hip surgery and was moved to a different facility for rehabilitation. Eventually, after several bouts of pneumonia, Snipes went home to die.

“The allegations in this case were particularly egregious,” said Snipes family attorney Kyle Nutt. Though Snipes remained in the facility for only weeks, “they caused her to pass away from pneumonia by making her bedridden.”

Earlier in 2017, federal regulators forbade Richmond Pines from filing for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements as a result of a series of infractions documented by inspectors. The nursing home owners racked up tens of thousands of dollars in fines as a result of those infractions.

Daily Journal file photo Richmond Pines Health Care and Rehabilitation Center was found responsible for the death of a former patient and was forbidden from filing for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements as a result of a series of infractions documented by inspectors.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_richmondpines_crop.jpgDaily Journal file photo Richmond Pines Health Care and Rehabilitation Center was found responsible for the death of a former patient and was forbidden from filing for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements as a result of a series of infractions documented by inspectors.

By Christine S. Carroll

Staff Writer

STORIES OF THE YEAR

The Daily Journal is reviewing Richmond County’s top 10 stories of 2017. These are the stories we think had the largest impact on the community.

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com.

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com.

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