Falsified records mean legal woes for administrator, aide

Share this article:
Susan Kayser, partner at Duane Morris
Susan Kayser, partner at Duane Morris

Lying about a wandering resident and foregoing help when lifting a resident were all it took to land a nursing home administrator and a nurse aide in legal trouble.

Nancy Szydlowski, who was the administrator at The Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, was arrested by Southampton Village police and charged with falsifying business records, tampering with physical evidence and offering a false instrument for filing, according to court records. In an unrelated case, a former nurse aide, Ray Okaham, also was arrested and charged with falsifying business records and a public health violation. Both defendants are due in court on Feb. 11. 

In Szydlowski's case, a dementia patient disappeared for five hours in 2009 and was later found, Newsday reported. When state officials investigated, she told a nurse supervisor to write a note in the records that the resident was seen trying to leave and caught by Szydlowski.

The resident had been wearing a wandering device that didn't set off an alarm and her location was supposed to be documented every 15 minutes per her care plan, according to court records. 

In Okaham's case, police allege he lied about having help when moving a 97-year-old resident. The resident's care plan required two aides and a mechanical lift when she had to be moved, Newsday reported. 

The alteration of records in a long-term care setting can increase the risk of prosecution, notes Duane Morris partner Susan V. Kayser, who is not involved in the case.

“It can turn it into a much, much more significant case,” and provide a clearer path toward prosecution, she said. 

Administrators also should make sure a care plan is feasible. Kayser notes record revising can occur when an employee panics following a minor mistake. 

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.