Court upholds Immediate Jeopardy tags

Share this content:

An Alabama nursing home that did not properly handle a resident with pressure sores on her feet is on the hook for Immediate Jeopardy fines of nearly $135,000, a federal appeals court recently affirmed.

Bibb Medical Center Nursing Home in Centreville, AL, did not properly report, treat or prevent pressure sores on a female resident's feet, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declared. The agency fined the facility $3,550 per day for a 38-day period during the autumn of 2010. The nursing home appealed, arguing that its noncompliance with CMS regulations did not pose an immediate threat to residents' safety.

A CMS appeals board and an administrative law judge, however, upheld the determination before the case reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The appeals court denied Bibb's petition for review on Feb. 26, saying the nursing home's noncompliance did create Immediate Jeopardy.

“Immediate jeopardy exists if the nursing home's noncompliance has caused or is likely to cause ‘serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a resident,'” the appeals court stated. “Actual harm is not a prerequisite for an immediate jeopardy finding.”

The facility opened its doors as a 30-bed facility in 1967. It has since grown into a 131-bed facility. The facility offers 24-hour skilled and rehab care services to area residents.