Admissions halted at nursing home that removed patient for smoking

Share this content:

A Tennessee nursing home that reportedly moved a resident into a hotel when he refused to stop smoking — despite a strict no-smoking policy — has had its admissions suspended by state officials.

Surveyors said they found several violations at Brookhaven Manor in Sullivan County during an annual and complaint-driven review conducted in March. A press release issued by the Tennessee Department of Health said it issued four fines totalling $12,000 for lapses in administration, admissions, discharges, transfers, performance improvement and social work services.

The findings about the resident's move come amid heightened scrutiny of patient discharge, often termed patient-dumping by lawyers and resident advocates. A new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiative called attention to the issue in a December memo and is attempting to reverse the controversial trend with its own initiatives.

At Brookhaven Manor, WJHL reported, the inspection found nursing home staff members booked a resident into a local hotel for three nights, paying for his breakfasts but failing to ensure he had money for other meals or initial access to his prescriptions. The report shows the move followed the man's violation of a facility no-smoking policy, and he was appealing an involuntary discharge.

The report said the forced move "was detrimental to his health, safety and welfare."

Admissions were suspended effective April 6.

A message left by McKnight's on Tuesday for Brookhaven Administrator Sam Justus was not returned by production deadline. But he told WJHL in a statement that the facility is “concerned about the safety of all of our residents."

"We are going to do everything it takes to make sure all of our residents are safe,” he said. “We are going to do everything we can to cooperate with local, state and federal officials in their investigation.”