Former resident with pressure ulcer sues retirement community for falsely advertising skilled nursing services

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A retirement community in Pennsylvania does not provide the skilled nursing services it claims to offer in promotional materials, according to charges filed by a former resident who developed a serious pressure ulcer.

Lois Johnson-Hamerman was admitted to the Watermark at Logan Square community in Philadelphia in November 2012, needing wound care and rehabilitation for cellulitis on her foot, the legal journal Pennsylvania Record reported. Watermark failed to provide her with foot care and also did not properly dispense medications or turn her, resulting in her eventual transfer to a hospital for a stage IV ulcer, Johnson-Hamerman alleges in a lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The suit claims that Watermark intentionally misrepresents its ability to provide high-level healthcare to attract residents with complex conditions, in order to maximize reimbursements, according to the Record.

Watermark attorneys reportedly have petitioned to move the case to federal court.

Watermark is the operating partner of The Freshwater Group, which is based in Arizona. Freshwater had not returned a phone call from McKnight's as of press time.

A high-profile Frontline documentary that aired in July raised the issue of assisted living and similar communities being unequipped to handle high-acuity residents. It focused on the case of a woman who developed fatal pressure ulcers while residing in a California assisted living facility.

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