Hidden Camera Leads to Arraignment of 17 Nurse Employees for Neglect & Fraud
Seventeen employees of Kaleida Health at Highpointe Health Care Facility in Michigan have been arraigned in Buffalo City Court, New York, this past Friday.
Eight nurses and nine nursing assistants have been fired after a state investigation. All seventeen individuals face various counts of willful violation of health law, including endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, and falsifying business records. Hidden surveillance (which is likely to have been running during a 24-hour period) reveals that nurses and aides repeatedly neglected to care for a 56-year old patient with Huntington’s chorea, a neurological disease that leaves him non-ambulatory and bedridden–in other words, completely dependent for care.
Surveillance shows nurses and aides neglecting check-ups, pain medication administration, and incontinent care, as well as an attempt to falsifying documents to cover up their neglect. Fifteen of the accused have pled not guilty with representation of the Legal Aid Bureau. They face felony charges that could serve a maximum sentence of four years if convicted.
The Michigan State Health Department conducted 59 on-site inspections at the $64 million dollar facility. Their data shows that the facility’s 6.4 deficiency citations per 100 occupied beds were worse than the statewide average of 2.2. Eleven of the 17 citations were related to quality of care.
If you believe that someone you care about is being neglected, speak up and reach out for help–you may be able to explore legal options. To learn about the warning signs of elder abuse, visit the National Center for Elder Abuse .