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joint health care agreement announced regarding care enhancements at a nursing home dementia unit

November 29, 2012


PHILADELPHIA – Under a joint agreement with the United States, Cathedral Village, a Philadelphia Continuing Care Retirement Community, is further enhancing the care that it provides to residents of its "Bishop White Lodge" nursing home and the Alzheimer's patients in its Dementia Unit, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. The agreement: (1) embodies and effectuates quality of care enhancements at Bishop White Lodge, particularly in its Dementia Unit, which is devoted exclusively to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and memory-impairment-related illnesses; and (2) ensures that the United States remains apprised of those enhancements over the next three years. The agreement follows a period of discussions between the parties during which Cathedral Village engaged a corporate compliance consultant group to assist with enhancing Bishop White Lodge’s policies and procedures.

Under the agreement, Cathedral Village will, among other things:

1. Maintain and enforce, facility-wide, a recently revised Code of Conduct and Corporate Compliance Program.

2. Maintain and enforce at Bishop White Lodge, for at least three years, revised policies and procedures on: (a) medical documentation; (b) fall risk assessment, prevention, and monitoring; (c) post-fall assessment, investigation, evaluation, reporting, and recovery; (d) wound care; (e) restraints; (f) quality assurance; (g) internal communications; (h) hydration; (i) nutrition; and (j) recreation.

3. Provide Dementia Unit employees with both annual competency-based training (including on areas that are set forth in the revised policies and procedures) and dementia-focused training by a professional with expertise in dementia.

4. Create a $45,000.00 Quality of Life Fund that must be spent on quality-of-care enhancements other than those budgeted for in the ordinary course of business.

5. Require Cathedral Village’s Director of Nursing and Nurse Managers to be professionally certified in Gerontological Nursing.
6. Maintain – and require that Cathedral Village’s Medical Director perform duties consistently with – an updated Medical Director position description that is modeled on recent American Medical Directors Association standards.

7. For three years, have a corporate compliance consultant perform reviews of – and report to the United States and Cathedral Village on – Cathedral Village’s performance under the parties’ agreement.

“Nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and memory-impairment-related illnesses are particularly vulnerable,” Memeger said. “Many such residents struggle daily not merely with memory challenges but also with physical barriers such as decreased hearing, impaired vision, inability to walk or stand, inability to reach desired objects, extremity pain, and poor fingertip sensation. These residents benefit from care that is focused upon and sensitive to the sets of symptoms that are associated with their conditions.” Memeger added that “Enhancements in care such as those that Cathedral Village has agreed to implement, or has already implemented at Bishop White Lodge, are the sorts of steps that nursing homes receiving Medicare or other federal heath care funds can consider taking to further the safety and well-being of their memory-impaired residents.”
The matter was analyzed by Healthcare Analyst Consultant Patricia M. Doyle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and was handled by Civil Chief Margaret L. Hutchinson, Deputy Civil Chief Mary Catherine Frye, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerald B. Sullivan and Veronica J. Finkelstein.

Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525


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