Residents refused meds, tried to flee secure unit since talking to surveyor, nursing home charges

An Ohio nursing home has been trying to care for residents who became defiant after speaking with a state inspector, according to legal charges reported Monday by Courthouse News Service.

Regency Manor Rehab and Subacute Center in Columbus filed the lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health on July 31, the news source stated. The allegations involve a state inspection that had occurred earlier that month.

An inspector determined that residents of a secure unit at Regency were in Immediate Jeopardy, according to the lawsuit. The inspector said caregivers were not respecting the preferences of the residents, who had been declared incompetent in probate court and placed in the unit by their legal guardians, CNS reported. Regency contends that the inspector violated state law by telling residents they should not have to take medications or be confined to the unit against their will.

Since the survey, residents have tried to flee the unit by scaling a courtyard fence and have refused medications, including antipsychotics, heart medications and diuretics, Regency claims in court documents.

The 275-bed, for-profit facility currently has an overall two-star rating on the government’s Nursing Home Compare website, but a five-star rating on quality measures.

Regency is seeking reimbursement of monetary damages sustained since the July inspection, CNS reported. The facility also is seeking an injunction and restraining order related to directives coming from the state.

Regency Manor essentially is “caught in the middle,” with the Department of Health contradicting legal guardian decisions as well as court orders related to treatment, Regency attorney Jeffrey W. Van Wagner stated in an email to McKnight’s.

“In the application for restraining order, we are petitioning the court for guidance in working out this conflict,” he explained.*

*Editor’s Note: This article originally stated “Regency is seeking a restraining order to prevent communication between residents and the Department of Health,” as reported by CNS. It has been updated based on the more detailed information subsequently provided to McKnight’s by the facility’s attorney.