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10 Blossom North staffers face criminal charges

Rochester Business Journal
March 25, 2014

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has lodged criminal complaints alleging patient neglect against 10 staffers at Blossom North Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Blossom North officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Six of the 120-bed Rochester skilled nursing facility’s nurses and four nursing assistants are charged with felony and misdemeanor counts. They are slated to be arraigned in Rochester City Court on Friday. One other nurse is expected to face similar charges, Schneiderman said Tuesday.

The staffers’ alleged violations were uncovered by an investigation triggered by a complaint to the attorney general’s lodged by the resident’s son. Video surveillance conducted as part of a probe by the attorney general office’s Medicaid Fraud Unit uncovered serious neglect of a partially paralyzed and bed-ridden resident, Schneiderman said.

The resident, identified by the initials M.P. to protect the family’s privacy, was routinely left untended for hours at a stretch, Schneiderman said.

In addition to being a double amputee with both legs severed above the knee, the resident suffers partial upper body paralysis, type-2 diabetes, impaired cognition, blood pressure fluctuation and glaucoma. 

Among charges leveled by the attorney general are that nurses failed to dispense the resident’s medications, measure his blood sugar and blood pressure, and failed to attend to his catheter. Aides’ neglected his incontinence care, failed to put him through prescribed exercises and moved the resident in a potentially unsafe manner, the attorney general alleges.

In addition to charges related to their alleged neglect of the resident, the Blossom North staffers face charges for allegedly falsifying records in an effort to cover up their failure to provide needed care.

Located at 1355 Portland Ave., Blossom North is operated separately from the Blossom South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 1175 Monroe Ave. Blossom South was recently forced to close amid allegations of persistent safety and health violations. Blossom South last week submitted a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing with state Department of Labor disclosing its closure on March 16 resulted in layoffs for 140 workers.

Records on file with the New York Secretary of State name the same Brooklyn company, a health care finance firm, VFR Healthcare Finance, headed by Blossom South managing partner Israel Segal, as a mailing address for both Blossom North and Blossom South.
    
(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 



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