Provider challenging $25k fine for lack of access to dying resident's advance directive

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A nursing home plans to challenge a $25,000 fine associated with the facility failing to include a resident advance directive in his healthcare plan, which may have contributed to his death. The failure could be the reason nurses did not perform CPR, according to an Illinois Department of Health report.

When nurses from Willow Rose Rehab & Health found an unidentified 69-year-old resident unresponsive, they did not perform CPR, the state report said. It is a requirement for healthcare facilities to provide basic life support before emergency medical personnel arrive unless an advance directive specifically says the resident does not want to be resuscitated.

However, the state report said the resident's advance directive stated he wanted a “full code,” which meant the resident wanted the staff to perform all possible resuscitation efforts. The advance directive was not immediately available to the staff, however, because it was not readily available in his healthcare plan.

Willow Rose Rehab & Health  was cited with an “A” violation, the most serious possible, from the Illinois Department of Health, in addition to the $25,000 fine.

The facility is owned by Petersen Health Care, which is based in Peoria, IL. McKnight's request for comment was not returned by production deadline Friday.

Since the resident death, the facility has instituted corrective measures such as training all departments on facility policy for CPR certification and when to initiate it, reviewing patient charts and implementing new employee training methods, according to a report in the Jacksonville Journal Courier.

The incident occurred in March, and the state issued the violation in April. The facility is challenging the fine and will contest it at an Aug. 16 hearing.