Virginia: Nursing Homes – A Lawyer’s Consulate

Virginia: Nursing Homes – A Lawyer’s Consulate

Mr. Waterman is representing the Plaintiff patient against the Defendant nursing facility in the patient fall wrongful death medical malpractice case of William M. Snovell, Executor of the Estate of Bernadette Teresa Connelly Snovell, v. Williamsburg Facility Operations, LLC d/b/a Consulate Healthcare of Williamsburg, et al., in Circuit Court for the County of York and Poquoson, Virginia. Financial analysis of Consulate Healthcare’s self-reported cost figures indicates its Williamsburg nursing home chronically being staffed substantially below levels expected by the federal government [“CMS”] in 2012.

For example, for 2012 (the year of the Consulate Healthcare resident fall/death at issue in Snovell), CMS expected an estimated 72-73 minutes of RN time per resident per day, but Consulate Healthcare reported only 29+ minutes of RN time/resident/day for the 2 weeks before its annual inspection – and, more importantly, only 9 minutes of RN time/resident/day for the year as a whole. Also for 2012, CMS expected an estimated 271-281 minutes of total RN/LPN/Aide time per resident per day, but again Consulate Healthcare reported only 208-218 minutes of total RN/LPN/Aide time/resident/day.

Since CMS uses the 2-week pre-inspection period for RN time/patient as a proxy for Consulate Healthcare’s “staffing,” Consulate Healthcare received a 2 of 5 as its star rating for 2012. However, if Consulate Healthcare’s more representative year-long self-reporting were used for its 2013 star rating, it would have received only a 1 of 5, i.e., the worst possible score on the star scale.

Moreover, by not staffing fully at CMS-expected levels, Consulate Healthcare saved an estimated $817,574.00 in 2012. Meanwhile in 2012, Consulate Healthcare paid approximately $1,601,150.00 to “related parties,” including “management fees” of $492,620.00 and other estimated excess payments of $169,035.00; plus claimed net income of at least $577,600.00.

Notably, the apparent understaffing by Consulate Healthcare is at the lowest RN levels of any nursing home among all of the cases handled by Mr. Waterman. Compare Mr. Waterman’s 10/28/16 and 11/9/16 blogs for the Cherrie/Harvey and the Davis patient fall wrongful death cases for medical malpractice.