Nursing Home Abuse in Arkansas
Former Arkansas Nurse Admits to Nursing Home Abuse: Pain Pill Theft
June 3, 2013
A former Morrilton, Arkansas nurse admitted earlier this month to stealing a resident’s pain pills, which is considered a form of nursing home abuse in Arkansas. She plead guilty in a Conway County Circuit Court to a felony charge of obtaining drugs by fraud.
According to court documents, Mary Carlene Burns, 46, worked as a nurse supervisor at the Brookridge Cove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. While at work, she removed prescription Oxycodone pills out of a resident’s bottle and replaced them with over-the-counter pills. She then used the Oxycodone for her own personal use.
A Medicaid Fraud Unit investigator questioned Burns after a male resident of the nursing home stated on three different occasions that he was receiving the wrong medication. Burns readily admitted to the investigator that she had taken the resident’s medication and used it for herself.
On May 15, Burns was convicted of a Class C felony, fined $3,095, and sentenced to three years of probation. Her driver’s license was also suspended for six months. Before she plead guilty, she gave up her Arkansas nursing license.
Medicaid urges anyone who knows of nursing home abuse and/or neglect to contact the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 866-810-0016.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assist you. Nursing home abuse attorneys have helped numerous of victims of abuse and neglect, and would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.
Arkansas Coroner Begins Spot Checks on Nursing Home Abuse
April 2, 2013
With an alarming rate of nursing home abuse and neglect instances in Arkansas, the Washington County Coroner was given permission earlier this month to do spot checks at various nursing homes.
According to reports, spot checks will not only allow the coroner’s office to check in on previous details of residents, such as bruises, accidents, and hospital, but will also give family members assurance that their loved ones are being watched. Per Roger Morris of the Washington County Coroner’s Office, the new grant allowing these checks occurred after he heard a story of a local nursing home resident being abused.
“We want them to know that there’s someone out there watching,” said Morris.
Before the coroner’s office was granted permission to check up on resident deaths, the nursing homes only had to report each death to the office without any follow-up. Now, however, each and every death can be inspected. However, Morris is quick to point out that this is not a way to put a negative light onto nursing homes, but a way to help.
“We may go through 20 before we have one do something bad that one person that goes to work there that causes neglect, we don’t want them to put a bad shine on all these other nursing homes. It’s not hounding nursing homes, it’s not making examples, it’s helping them,” Morris said.
The coroner’s office has only seen a total of four deaths stemming from nursing home abuse and neglect in the past few years. However, that was before the spot checks were allowed. If abuse and/or neglect is founded, family members of the victims have the right to retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file civil charges. Additionally, caregivers and employees tied to the abuse may face criminal charges.