CONSUMER ALERT: State Suspends South Florida Assisted Living License
by FFBC | August 27, 2019
Florida officials took swift action last week to protect residents living at the Rebull Senior Living in Miami after discovering a “systematic medication failure” at the facility.
According to Agency for Health Care Administration documents, the Agency found that facility operators intentionally administered medications not prescribed by residents’ physicians.
The surveyor, who repeatedly warned the facility employee to stop what they were doing, demanded to know why the employee was attempting to destroy the health care materials.
During the inspection, a surveyor watched in disbelief when facility staff attempted to destroy a white paper bag chockfull of medication logs, blister packs, and other pharmaceutical materials by throwing them into the facility’s dryer. The surveyor, who repeatedly warned the facility employee to stop what they were doing, demanded to know why the employee was attempting to destroy the health care materials. The staff person replied that the facility’s administrator directed a cease to the administering of Metformin (a diabetic medication) to one of the residents, and that this was the first opportunity the employee had to dispose of the medications.
A review of residents’ records showed that multiple residents, who were prescribed insulin, were instead given Metformin, a medication that is typically used to treat only Type 2 diabetes. This act placed the residents in potential medical peril. The residents’ physicians expressly warned that using Metformin would be contraindicative to each resident’s welfare, placing them at risk for possible kidney failure. These “medication discrepancies” resulted in subsequent hospitalizations for diabetic shock, falls, and/or kidney failure.
The hospitalizations were never reported to the residents’ doctors.
The Agency determined that the medication violations were so rampant that they had become an “immediate threat” to the residents. The Agency’s emergency order also showed that the facility’s inability to provide “prescribed healthcare” and its overlooking of the “regulatory mechanisms enacted for resident protections” were chief among the reasons for suspending the facility’s license.
Is it possible that money may have been a motivating factor in the facility’s decision to change the medications?
Is it possible that money may have been a motivating factor in the facility’s decision to change the medications? The average market value for Metformin ranges between $4 to $13 per dose versus insulin which estimates around $465 per dose, according to a leading website that provides drug cost comparisons. Months of incorrectly administered drugs would calculate to an enormous differentiation.
Rebull residents are safe from any further medication negligence thanks to the quick action of AHCA’s survey team.
While we may never know for certain about the underlying reason for the medication errors, what we do know for sure, is that, for now, Rebull residents are safe from any further medication negligence thanks to the quick action of AHCA’s survey team.
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