Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Veterans Home To Face Daily Fines

The Minneapolis Veterans Home will probably face daily fines for failing to correct two rule violations found earlier when the home was reinspected, the Minnesota Health Department said. The fines were likely to begin Wednesday, said Darcy Miner, who heads inspections for the Health Department. "We found a lot of progress out there since November," when inspectors found 26 violations at the state-owned nursing home, Miner said Monday. "Many areas have improved dramatically." Her office's report, which could be delivered to the home Wednesday, "very probably" will include daily penalties for not correcting two violations: a problem with improper care of residents who fell frequently and another with improper labeling on residents' medication containers. Each violation could cost $50 to $500 a day until they are corrected, Miner said. The Minneapolis Veterans Home did address seven other violations, including six that had resulted in $37,000 in fines. Meanwhile, Miner said a power failure at the home over the weekend did not threaten resident care."At this point, it's unlikely that we will cite any additional (violations), but we're still going through our notes," Miner said. Chip Cox, interim executive director of the governing Minnesota Veterans Homes Board, said officials have made progress in addressing the violations "but that's clearly not enough." The home is being scrutinized because of its slow pace in fixing care and safety violations found during separate state and federal inspections in November. The state later found two more violations while investigating the death of three residents. In addition, the U.S. Veterans Administration is threatening to suspend daily payments of about $20,000 for veterans' care if violations aren't addressed. A 14-hour power failure at the home over the weekend did not threaten the safety of about 310 residents in the nursing home and about 55 in the adjacent boarding care home, Miner said.