State health officials have once again found Tucson's Villa Campana Health Care Center in violation of rules and regulations governing Arizona nursing homes.
The 120-bed for-profit nursing home, owned by Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare, paid the state a $10,000 fine this summer for failing to follow its own policies and procedures on caring for and preventing pressure ulcers. In one case, a patient developed a pressure sore that grew so severe it required surgery to remove the coccyx bone, a state report says.
Officials with Kindred Healthcare and Villa Campana say they are now in compliance with all state and federal regulations, and stressed that resident care and safety is their prime concern.
"We take seriously any issues brought to our attention by the state and we have the same goal - resident safety," the company said.
Villa Campana paid the fine June 29 and state health officials confirmed in a letter to Villa Campana dated July 30 that the deficiencies it had found had been sufficiently corrected.
Villa Campana's state fine is the largest paid by any Southern Arizona nursing home so far this year. It's also the second time in less than a year that Villa Campana, 6651 E. Carondelet Drive, has been fined for its wound care.
Citing violations of federal requirements governing nursing homes, Medicare stopped paying for new admissions at Villa Campana for 28 days in September last year. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also fined Villa Campana $68,000 for non-compliance, and nursing home officials eventually paid $44,200 as part of an agreement with the government.
And on Dec. 1, Villa Campana paid the state of Arizona a fine of $11,525 for violating 33 state rules and regulations governing long-term care, including failing to monitor corrective actions for wound care, and failing to provide appropriate treatment for pressure ulcers.
That amount was the largest state fine paid by any nursing home facility in Southern Arizona in 2009.
Villa Campana paid the most recent fine - the $10,000 - following a complaint and follow-up investigation, state records show.
A state report says one patient entered Villa Campana Sept. 18 without any pressure ulcers. When the patient developed one in October, Villa Campana failed to properly treat it and the ulcer spread to the bone as osteomylelitis (a bone infection), the report says. The patient underwent surgery in December to remove infected soft tissue, the coccyx bone and a portion of the sacrum, the report says.
The patient was hospitalized and then returned to Villa Campana in January. The state report says Villa Campana then failed to have staff members trained to promote healing of the wound and as a result, the resident faced more surgery to repair the damage.
Villa Campana has a one-star rating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - its lowest rating, considered "much below average."
The federal quality-rating system relies on self-reporting from the nursing homes and takes into account such factors as staff and resident interactions and the nursing home environment. Five of the 23 Medicare-certified nursing homes in Pima County have one-star ratings.
And the Arizona Department of Health Services rates Villa Campana as "D" in quality, the state's lowest designation in a ratings system based on measures of care such as infection control, food services, resident rights and nursing services.
There are also three pending lawsuits against Villa Campana alleging inadequate care: two in Pima County Superior Court and one in federal court.
Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4134.