Gov. Scott’s blind trust and a company with a massive pollution problem

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org 

Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott

When Gov. Rick Scott put $133 million of his assets into a blind trust two years ago, he included his shares of Mosaic, owner of the Central Florida fertilizer plant where 215 million gallons of contaminated wastewater recently drained into an aquifer that provides drinking water for millions of Floridians.

Scott’s ownership interest in Mosaic was relatively small – he valued it at about $14,000 on the list of assets he placed in the blind trust – yet it provides another example of how the governor’s sprawling personal finances conflict, or appear to conflict, with his official duties.

Does Gov. Scott still have an ownership interest in Mosaic? Has it increased? On Wednesday, his office released a statement saying the governor is unaware of any sales, purchases or changes in the trust because it is “under the control of an independent financial professional.”

The trustee is New York-based Hollow Brook Wealth Management, whose chief executive is longtime Scott crony Alan Bazaar.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed earlier this year state that Bazaar also serves as an advisory board member of G. Scott Capital Partners, the private equity firm co-owned by First Lady Ann Scott and run by a trio of the governor’s former employees at Richard L. Scott Investments. Both the governor and Mrs. Scott have been substantial investors in Scott Capital’s investments.

Republican Gov. Scott’s handpicked Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Jon Steverson, is now overseeing Mosaic’s response to the massive dump of contaminated water that occurred in late August when a 45-foot wide sinkhole opened at Mosaic’s New Wales fertilizer manufacturing plant in Mulberry, about 55 miles east of Tampa.

The Mosaic plant sinkhole in what was a large pond atop a gypsum stack. When the sinkhole opened, millions of gallons of acidic wastewater drained into an aquifer used for drinking water. Photo: WFLA Tampa

The Mosaic plant sinkhole in what was a large pond atop a gypsum stack. When the sinkhole opened, millions of gallons of acidic wastewater drained into an aquifer used for drinking water. Photo: WFLA Tampa

“Governor Scott will hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions and has directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to expedite their investigation,” Scott’s communications director Jackie Schutz said in a Wednesday statement. “Governor Scott has also directed the Department of Health to partner with DEP in their investigation to ensure all drinking water in the area is safe. We know Mosaic has taken responsibility, but our job is to ensure 100 percent safe drinking water.”

Earthjustice is a large nonprofit environmental law firm. Informed that Gov. Scott previously disclosed his ownership of Mosaic stock, Senior Associate Attorney Bradley Marshall said, “We’re always concerned about the governor’s ties to industry. We certainly do think the governor has not been a good protector of the environment in Florida. We’ve already seen veterans at DEP fired for doing their jobs.”

Mosaic, based in Plymouth, Minnesota, is a Fortune 500 company (NYSE: MOS) with extensive operations in Florida, where it employs 4,000 workers. According to the company’s web site, it mines phosphate rock from nearly 200,000 acres of Mosaic-owned land in Central Florida and potash from mines in Canada. The products are processed into crop nutrients that are shipped around the world. Mosaic’s revenues last year were about $9 billion.

Mosaic politically active

Mosaic Fertilizer LLC, the company’s principal operating subsidiary in Florida, is politically active. State records show it fields a team of 14 executive branch lobbyists in Tallahassee. Since 2008, Mosaic entities have contributed about $1.9 million to political candidates and causes, with about $840,000 going to the Republican Party of Florida and the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, records show.

In October 2015, Mosaic Fertilizer LLC agreed to a nearly $2 billion settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding charges that its New Wales facility and other plants in Florida as well as Louisiana improperly handled 60 billion pounds of hazardous waste. Specifically, EPA inspectors found that Mosaic had mixed certain types of highly corrosive substances like sulfuric acid from its fertilizer operations with phosphogypsum and wastewater from its mineral processing. Sulfuric acid is used to extract phosphorus from mined rock.

Phosphogypsum is the radioactive byproduct that’s created when phosphate is turned into fertilizer.

An EPA press release at the time said the settlement “will ensure that wastewater at Mosaic’s facilities is properly managed and does not pose a threat to groundwater resources.’’

Gypsum stacks at a a phosphate plant in Florida Photo: Engineering and Mining Journal

Gypsum stacks at a a phosphate plant in Florida Photo: Engineering and Mining Journal

The sinkhole formed beneath one cell of a mountainous phosphogypsum stack topped with a 250-million-gallon pond filled with acidic wastewater from the fertilizer manufacturing process.

According to the company, plant workers noticed a decline in the water level on Aug. 27. While Mosaic quickly notified the DEP and the EPA, no public announcement was made until Sept. 15.

“A sinkhole formed under the west cell that we believe damaged the liner system at the base of the stack,” said the company’s initial press release. “The pond on top of the cell drained as a result, although some seepage continues.”

Mosaic went on to say it “immediately implemented additional and extensive groundwater monitoring and sampling regimens and found no offsite impacts.”

Company officials who appeared Tuesday before the Polk County Commission reiterated, “No water from the stack has migrated off our property.” The company also apologized for not notifying the public sooner.

Gov. Scott’s blind trust – his second while in office – was created under the terms of a secret trust agreement signed in June 2014. His office has declined to make the agreement with the trustee public.

Scott acquired Mosaic while in office

Gov. Scott acquired his Mosaic investment while in office. His first blind, created in April 2011 a few months after he was sworn in, disclosed no ownership of Mosaic shares.

Florida’s qualified blind trust law was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Scott in 2013. The idea was to prevent conflicts of interest by blinding public officials and the public to their holdings, and also afford those who use them immunity from prohibited conflicts.

“The Legislature finds that if a public officer creates a trust and does not control the interests held by the trust, his or her actions will not be influenced or appear to be influenced by private considerations,” the law says.

But Florida’s blind trust law, crafted with mega-wealthy Gov. Scott in mind, did not contemplate that such a trust could at times become a see-through entity, making it ineffective.

For example, in March 2014 Florida Bulldog reported that SEC records showed Gov. and Mrs. Scott had recently sold $17 million worth of shares in Argan (NYSE:AGX), a company whose principal subsidiary builds and operates power plants in Florida and elsewhere.

Florida Bulldog reported in July 2014 about Scott ownership of shares in a natural gas pipeline firm, Spectra Energy, looking to build the $3-billion Sabal Trail pipeline across North and Central Florida.

In 2013, Florida’s Public Service Commission – five members appointed by Gov. Scott – unanimously approved construction of Spectra’s controversial pipeline venture with Florida Power & Light. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection subsequently approved it, too.

What didn’t become known until the following year, however, was that Scott had investments totaling $110,000 in Houston-based Spectra and DCP Midstream Partners, a natural gas limited partnership 50 percent owned by Spectra. Scott only disclosed those interests in June 2014 when he closed his first blind trust and created his second blind trust while qualifying to run for re-election.

Florida’s ethics laws generally prohibit public officials like the governor from owning stock in businesses subject to state regulation, or that do business with state agencies. A similar prohibition exists on owning shares in companies that would “create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict” between an official’s private interests and the “full and faithful discharge” of his public duties.

The governor has said he was unaware of his Spectra investments because they were in his blind trust.

In February, Florida Bulldog reported that in 2012 Scott owned a $210,000 stake in a private equity firm that owned Fort Myers-based 21st Century Oncology when it was awarded a unprecedented 25-year, no-bid contract to supply radiation oncology services to taxpayer-supported Broward Health. An all-Republican board of commissioners appointed by Scott and his Republican predecessor made the award.

A spokeswoman for the governor said Scott wasn’t aware that 21st Century had sought the Broward Health contract and that no one at the private equity firm, Vestar Capital Partners, or 21st Century, had asked him to try to influence the hospital district’s selection process.

Gov. Scott’s undisclosed interest – via First Lady – in Zika mosquito control company

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org 

Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott

Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has an undisclosed financial interest in a Zika mosquito control company in which his wife, Florida First Lady Ann Scott, owns a multi-million dollar stake through a private investment firm she co-owns.

The company is Mosquito Control Services LLC of Metairie, LA. According to its web site, MCS “is a fully-certified team of mosquito control experts – licensed throughout the Gulf Coast, including Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.”

On June 23, Gov. Scott signed an executive order allocating $26.2 million in state emergency funds for Zika preparedness, including “mosquito surveillance and abatement, training for mosquito control technicians and enhanced laboratory capacity.”

It is not known whether MCS, whose services include monitoring and aerial spraying, stands to benefit from Florida government funds. Company manager Steven Pavlovich holds an active Florida “public health applicator” license with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through April 2019, but MCS is not a registered state vendor. The Department of Health contracts with two other two mosquito control vendors.

MCS did not respond to two requests for comment.

Ann Scott’s large stake in MCS is via G. Scott Capital Partners, an investment firm that boasts $291 million of client assets. The firm manages several private equity funds and various “family accounts primarily comprised of trusts and family entities,” according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records.

The Florida Bulldog reported in 2014 that Scott Capital, as it is known online, is operated by a trio of men who once worked at Richard L. Scott Investments, the private equity firm where Gov. Scott made millions for himself and his family putting together big-money investment deals when he was in the private sector.

Scott Capital posts its portfolio online. All nine listed companies are current and former investments of the governor and/or Mrs. Scott, including Mosquito Control Services, described as providing “mosquito abatement services primarily to municipalities.”

The SEC requires investment companies like G. Scott Capital Partners to file periodic disclosure reports. The firm’s most recent report, filed in March, shows that the three-employee, Connecticut-based firm caters to a handful of high net worth individuals – less than 25 – who invest directly and through various pooled investment funds.

A mosquito control investment

The firm’s latest fund is GS MCS, LLC, a Delaware company formed two years ago this month to recapitalize and take control of Mosquito Control Services. The current value of the fund is just under $10 million and the fund has nine beneficial owners, SEC records say. The owners’ names were not disclosed.

The managing director of G. Scott Capital Partners is Gregory D. Scott – no relation to Gov. Scott. He directs the firm’s investments, as he did when he led the private equity group at Richard L. Scott Investments from 2000 to 2012.

A screenshot from the web site of Mosquito Control Services LLC.

A screenshot from the web site of Mosquito Control Services LLC.

Gregory Scott owns 50 to 75 percent of the Delaware holding company that owns 100 percent of G. Scott Capital, according to the SEC. The First Lady owns the rest through the Frances Annette Scott Revocable Trust, which owns Tally 1, a Delaware company that in turn owns 25 to 50 percent of G. Scott Holdings LLC.

Gregory Scott has described Ann Scott, an interior decorator and owner of AS Interiors LLC, as a “passive investor” in G. Scott Capital.

Gov. Scott has not disclosed his ownership interest in his wife’s investments. Florida law, unlike federal law, does not require state public officers to disclose the assets or income of a spouse or minor child.

The governor’s office on Tuesday declined to discuss the matter or make Gov. Scott or the First Lady available for an interview.

The Republican governor, a multimillionaire, puts his personal investments in a “qualified blind trust” that his office has described as being overseen by “an independent financial professional.” Florida public officers who use such a trust to “blind” themselves to the nature of their holdings get in exchange immunity from prohibited conflicts of interest under a law that Gov. Scott signed in 2013.

FloridaBulldog.org has reported, however, that the person overseeing Gov. Scott’s trust is yet another former employee at Richard L. Scott Investments and that the trust has been ineffective in keeping the governor’s assets secret.

When Gov. Scott opened his current blind trust in 2014 – the second of his administration – he was required to disclose the assets he put into it. His current mix of assets is not known, but the Florida Bulldog reported last year that the blind trust has in the past coordinated stock transactions with the First Lady’s trust a family partnership.

The Solantic transfer

When Gov. Scott took office in 2011, he transferred tens of millions of dollars in assets to his wife, including a $62-million investment in the walk-in clinic chain Solantic. Mrs. Scott reportedly sold the family’s stake in Solantic that same year.

Gov. Scott’s transfer of his Solantic shares came amid an uproar about perceived conflicts of interest. Florida ethics laws generally prohibit public officials from having an ownership interest in companies that do business with the state or are subject to state regulation.

In 2013, Gov. Scott had an undisclosed ownership stake in Houston-based Spectra Energy when Florida’s Public Service Commission – five members appointed by Gov. Scott – unanimously approved construction of the controversial $3-billion Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline by a joint venture of Spectra and NextEra Energy, parent of Florida Power & Light.

The governor’s investment in Spectra became known about a year later when he filed a lengthy list of his assets as of Dec. 31, 2013 when he closed his original blind trust and opened a new one while qualifying to run for re-election.

FloridaBulldog.org reported in July 2014 that Gov. Scott’s list included a $53,000 stake in Spectra Energy and a $55,000 stake in DCP Midstream Partners, a natural-gas limited partnership 50 percent owned by Spectra Energy.

The governor’s investments included numerous other oil and gas assets, including a $712,000 stake in Texas-based Energy Transfer and its affiliates and subsidiaries. Through other subsidiaries, giant Energy Transfer owns a 50 percent interest in the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline, which delivers nearly 65 percent of the natural gas consumed in Florida.

Gov. Scott has had other conflicting investments.

FloridaBulldog.org reported in February that in 2012 Scott owned a $210,000 stake in the private equity firm that owned 21st Century Oncology when the all-Republican governing board of taxpayer-supported Broward Health awarded the company an unprecedented 25-year, no-bid contract to supply radiation oncology services. The governor appoints Broward Health’s board members.

A Scott spokeswoman has said the governor wasn’t aware that 21st Century had sought the Broward Health contract prior to its award in January 2012 and that no one at the private equity firm, Vestar Capital Partners, or 21st Century had asked him to try to influence the hospital district’s selection process.

South Florida’s 10 worst nursing homes for seniors based on U.S. data

By Francisco Alvarado, FloridaBulldog.org 

Miami's 180-bed Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was fined $138,841 by the federal government between 2013 and 2015. Photo: Francisco Alvarado

Miami’s 180-bed Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was fined $138,841 by the federal government between 2013 and 2015. Photo: Francisco Alvarado

At the Floridean Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Miami, a man developed a pressure sore on the bridge of his nose that medical staff left untreated for weeks. In Hollywood, nurses at Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center failed to provide medication to a resident who suffered intermittent pain in her chest, shoulders and thigh. Approximately 35 miles south, at the Heartland Healthcare Center Kendall, workers allowed an elderly woman who couldn’t stand on her own to fall and fracture her hip.

For these and seven other nursing homes, incidents of negligent care are so common the facilities have received abysmal reviews from federal health-care regulators. FloridaBulldog.org researched an online database administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to determine the worst nursing homes in South Florida.

We focused on facilities for the elderly within a 100-mile radius of Miami. Medicare.gov, grades each nursing home on a scale of five stars to one star, the lowest score a facility can receive. A nursing home with a one-star overall rating is considered “much below average,” according to Medicare.gov. One-star nursing homes are typically cited for more health-care deficiencies than the national average of 6.9 and the state average of 6.2. Some have paid tens of thousands in dollars in fines.

Medicare.gov rated 145 nursing homes in South Florida. Only 10 got just one star. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Coral Bay Health Care and Rehabilitation

120-bed facility at 2939 South Haverhill Road in West Palm Beach

Health deficiencies: 19

2013-2015 federal fines: 0

According to 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Coral Bay include failure to provide daily showers per an incontinent resident’s request; failure to provide housekeeping services in order to maintain a sanitary environment; and failure to provide evidence that a patient with a catheter was getting appropriate care.

Coral Bay Health Care and Rehabilitation in West Palm Beach was found last year to have failed to provide housekeeping services to maintain a sanitary environment.

Coral Bay Health Care and Rehabilitation in West Palm Beach was found last year to have failed to provide housekeeping services to maintain a sanitary environment.

During an inspection on April 8, 2015, a unit manager (who is not identified) admitted to investigators that there was no evidence in the record and treatment book that a resident’s Foley catheter and catheter bag was being changed monthly and every two weeks, respectively.

“The catheter tubing was discolored with light brown film and the tubing was not secured to the resident with a leg strap to prevent pulling,” the report states. Investigators also monitored the resident from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. They noted, “at no time did a staff member checked on the resident’s incontinence status,” the report states.

While observing a nurse’s aide bathe a resident the same day, investigators determined the shower room “was dirty and had a strong foul smell. Brown color material was observed on the shower floor.” the report states. The aide then “coached the resident to stand up on the dirty floor. The resident was encouraged to urinate and defecate on the floor. The aide picked up the fecal material with her gloved hands, leaving small particles on the floor.”

Jennifer Trapp, the spokeswoman for Orlando-based Consulate Health Care, the company that owns Coral Bay, did not return two emails and a phone message after initially telling FloridaBulldog.org she would respond to a list of written questions.

Coral Reef Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

180-bed facility at 9869 SW 152nd Street in south Miami-Dade

Health deficiencies: 10

2013-2015 federal fines: 0

According to 2014 and 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Coral Reef included failing to report to Florida’s Department of Health allegations by a patient who had been mistreated by a nursing assistant; failing to develop a pain relief care plan for a patient with bad teeth; failing to provide emergency dental care to another patient and only providing 48-hours notice of discharge to short-term residents instead of the 30-day notice required by state and federal law,

On Oct. 21, 2014, investigators observed a resident eating a breakfast consisting of one hard boiled egg, hash, two slices of toast, coffee and juice. According to the inspection report, the resident chewed her toast in the left side of her mouth and had a pained facial expression. She pulled down her lip to reveal a sore in the right side of her mouth.

The woman told a social worker at the facility “in order to try to get an appointment with the dentist, but the social worker had not gotten back to her,” the report states. “She also indicated that she told her son about it because she felt facility staff was likely ignoring her.”

Investigators interviewed the son two days later. He said his mother had been experiencing pain for more than a year. The report blamed Coral Reef staff for “failing to accurately assess resident’s pain and dental status, which caused actual harm to the resident in that she experienced significant pain which affected her ability to chew her food.”

Coral Reef administrator Ingrid Perdomo did not return three phone messages seeking comment.

Fair Havens Center

269-bed facility at 201 Curtiss Parkway in Miami Springs

Health deficiencies: 13

2013-2015 federal fines: $6,955

According to 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Fair Havens include failing to prevent a patient from assaulting his roommate; failing to report what happened to the alleged victim’s spouse; failing to implement abuse prevention measures; and not having a program in place to prevent infections from spreading.

Fair Havens Center in Miami Springs was cited lat year for failing to prevent a patient from assaulting his roommate, failing to report it and failing to implement abuse prevention measures.

Fair Havens Center in Miami Springs was cited lat year for failing to prevent a patient from assaulting his roommate, failing to report it and failing to implement abuse prevention measures.

The records show that on June 12 investigators met with a resident and his wife who reported that his roommate had assaulted him, which was confirmed by a nursing assistant who witnessed the incident.

The wife complained to investigators that it was the second time the roommate went after her husband and that Fair Havens staff did nothing to prevent it. A week earlier, she found her husband with a swollen eye and a busted lip, yet no one called her about his injuries and none of the medical staff knew how he sustained them.

The woman told investigators Fair Havens staff could have avoided the second incident by moving her husband to another room or keeping a closer eye on his roommate. When investigators interviewed the Fair Havens abuse prevention coordinator, she said the nursing home did not report the first incident to the wife or any investigative agency because “we determined it was nothing.”

During an Aug. 25 inspection, investigators watched a nursing aide clean up a patient who had soiled himself without changing her gloves. “She was removing dark brown material that resembled feces to the buttocks area with the washcloth,” the report states. “After cleaning the buttocks, [the nursing aide] did not remove her gloves. [She] was touching the resident’s arm and face with the same gloves and proceeded to change the linen on the resident’s bed with the same gloves.”

Fair Havens Administrator Jose Andres Suarez did not return three phone messages seeking comment.

Floridean Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

90-bed facility at 47 NW 32nd Place in Miami

Health deficiencies: 23

2013-2015 federal fines: $16,100

2015 inspection reports show that Floridean’s health deficiencies included giving the wrong medications to residents; allowing unqualified personnel to assess residents’ wounds; failing to prevent the hospitalization of some resident; and letting patients’ sores fester.

For instance, on Feb. 25, 2015 inspectors discovered a resident with a pressure ulcer on the bridge of his nose, according to a report filed two days later. The injury was so bad it had a film necrotic skin that prevented Floridean medical staff from properly diagnosing the extent of the injury, one report states. Inspectors said the wound was avoidable.

Floridean health-care workers told inspectors the resident, admitted on Dec. 19, 2014, refused to wear a protective foam pad under his oxygen breathing mask to prevent the skin on his nose from breaking. The report, however, cites care plan for the resident that stated he was “at risk for skin breakdown due to impaired mobility, fragile skin, and needs assist with turning, repositioning and hygienic needs.’’ The ulcer remained untreated until inspectors paid their visit, the report states.

Inspectors identified eight Floridean residents with pressure ulcers. Floridean Executive Director Susan Murray Prado did not return three phone messages seeking comment.

Franco Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center

120-bed facility at 800 NW 95th St. in Miami Shores

Health deficiencies: 16

2013-2015 federal fines: 0

According to 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Franco include failing to provide residents with their requested food items; failing to provide residents medical and dental services; storing food in unsanitary conditions; and improper disposal of garbage, including soiled adult diapers.

Franco Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Miami Shores was cited in 2015 for failing to provide residents with medical and dental services and storing food in unsanitary conditions. Photo: Francisco Alvarado

Franco Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Miami Shores was cited in 2015 for failing to provide residents with medical and dental services and storing food in unsanitary conditions. Photo: Francisco Alvarado

On March 31, 2015, investigators found both of Franco’s dumpsters overflowing with trash, according to an inspection report. “Bags of trash were not sealed and they contained personal care items including soiled briefs and pads,” the report states. “The dumpsters could not be closed due to an excess amount of trash. The surrounding area was littered with several empty trash bags and two rubber gloves on the ground.”

Two days later, investigators interviewed a resident who complained that Franco staff were ignoring her requests to only feed her cold cut sandwiches during her evening snacks. According to the inspection report, investigators reviewed the dietitian’s progress notes from Feb. 23, 2015, which specified that the resident was to receive one cold cut sandwich and eight ounces of milk at bedtime. The resident also said she did not want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

According to the dietitian’s March 26, 2015 progress notes, the resident complained that on some nights she sometimes got chicken salad, egg salad, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. During an interview with investigators a week later, the dietitian (who is not identified in the report) said the Franco’s dietary manager (who was also not identified) said “sometimes the kitchen ran out of stuff and they substituted with what they had, meaning peanut butter and jelly.”

Despite the dietary manager’s assurances the kitchen would adhere to the resident’s request, the problem continued. “The registered dietitian said after that conversation he checked other evenings before he left the facility and saw (the) kitchen sent peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to resident instead of the resident’s choice,” the April 6, 2015 report states.

Consulate Health Care owns Franco. A spokeswoman did not respond to a list of emailed questions.

Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

180-bed facility at 220 Sierra Dr. in Miami

Health deficiencies: 12

2013-2015 federal fines: $138,841

According to health inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Golden Glades include entering residents’ rooms without asking permission; risking injury to patients by not securing their bed rails properly; not regulating hot water temperatures in their bathrooms; and bug infestations.

During a Feb. 2, 2015 inspection, investigators observed seven small winged insects on a sandwich next to a bedside. “There were other small winged insects observed on the straw and tray next to the sandwich and flying around the sandwich,” the report states. “The resident entered the room during the observation and picked up the sandwich with his bare hand. He then threw it away.” Two days later, investigators noted small-winged insects flying around the third-floor nursing station and in another resident’s room.

During the same inspection period, investigators also cited Golden Glades for allowing the hot water temperature in five residents’ rooms to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit. “The facility’s corporate maintenance staff explained the boiler was set to not exceed 115 degrees,” the ieport states. “He could not say why the temperatures taken exceeded 115 degrees F in the resident rooms, but explained it had something to do with the outdoor temperature fluctuation recently.”

Golden Glades administrator Marc Douglas Grant did not return three phone messages seeking comment.

Heartland Healthcare Center Kendall

120-bed facility at 9400 SW 137th Ave. in south Miami-Dade

Health deficiencies: 11

2013-2015 federal fines: $2,015

Deficiencies at Heartland include failing to take precautions to prevent infections from spreading; and allowing a resident to fall and fracture her hip, according to 2015 inspection reports.

Heartland Healthcare Center Kendall was found in 2015 to have failed to take precautions to prevent infections and allowing a resident to fall and fracture her hip

Heartland Healthcare Center Kendall was found in 2015 to have failed to take precautions to prevent infections and allowing a resident to fall and fracture her hip

On April 28, investigators noted that Heartland staff had failed to provide personal protective equipment and a biohazard waste container inside the room of a resident with a MRSA infection, which is highly contagious.

Three months later, investigators visited Heartland again following a serious injury to a resident who fell while trying to get up from her wheelchair unassisted. According to a July 22 inspection report, Heartland’s administrator (who is not named) said that the resident got up very quickly before a nurse could assist her. The woman was transported to a hospital, where she was treated for a fractured hip. She also suffered bruising on her arms and a scraped elbow. Investigators reviewed the resident’s medical file and found that she had trouble maintaining her balance and required assistance standing up.

Julie Beckert, a spokeswoman for Ohio-based HCR Manorcare, the company that owns Heartland, said Medicare’s star rating system does not reflect the quality of care provided to its residents on a yearly basis. “Our employees are committed to providing quality care to the patients they serve and the well-being of our patients and residents is of utmost concern to us,” Beckert said. “Whenever we identify a patient care issue or if state surveyors have a concern, we aggressively address the matter in a plan of correction, training or other measures to ensure patient comfort and safety.”

Hillcrest Health Care and Rehabilitation Center

240-bed facility at 4200 Washington St. in Hollywood

Health deficiencies: 8

2013-2015 federal fines: $6,500

According to 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at Hillcrest (another Consulate Health Care-owned nursing home) include failing to monitor a resident complaining of pain; failing to require a resident to wear a hand splint per her physician’s order; failing to administer medications accurately and correctly to three residents; disposing of garbage improperly; and failing to take preventative measures against falls.

During an inspection on April 7, 2015, investigators observed a patient who was supposed to be wearing a splint on her left hand until bedtime. From 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the resident never wore the splint, the inspection report states. When investigators asked a nursing assistant about the splint, she went to the resident’s nightstand and pulled it out of the drawer. The woman was also not being required to do range-of-motion exercises with her hands, per her doctor’s orders, investigators concluded.

Hollywood's Hillcrest Care and Rehabilitation Center was cited in 2015 for failing to monitor a resident complaining of pain, failing to administer medications accurately and failing to take preventative measures against falls.

Hollywood’s Hillcrest Care and Rehabilitation Center was cited in 2015 for failing to monitor a resident complaining of pain, failing to administer medications accurately and failing to take preventative measures against falls.

During an April 8 interview with investigators, a Hillcrest healthcare worker who is not identified said the resident sometimes refused to do the exercises. “Review of the restorative tracking forms revealed no evidence of documentation the resident was refusing any services,” the report states.

Two months later, investigators interviewed medical staffers at Hillcrest about a resident who was found on the floor next to his bed, bleeding from a laceration on his eyebrow. Hillcrest had not prepared a care plan for the resident who was at risk of falling because his neurological functions were in significant decline, the June 19, 2015 inspection report states.

“Based on clinical record review and staff interview the facility’s licensed nurses failed to provide timely monitoring and implementation of interventions to meet the resident’s needs,” the report states.

According to the report, three hours after he fell, there was a “significant decline in the resident’s neurological function.” The resident was transported to a hospital emergency room, where he died, the report states.

Hillcrest is owned by Consulate Health Care, whose spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

 The Nursing Center at Mercy

120-bed facility at 3671 South Miami Ave. in Miami

Health deficiencies: 15

2013-2015 federal fines: $9,300

2015 health inspection reports list deficiencies at The Nursing Center that include failing to notify a resident’s daughter when her father suffered medical complications and injuries; logging the wrong number of pills prescribed to a resident; failing to document when medication was administered to residents; allowing infections to spread; and not using proper hygiene controls when changing residents who soiled themselves.

On April 21, 2015, investigators observed a nursing assistant don gloves and clean up a resident who had defected himself. The assistant “moistened a disposable wash cloth, removed stool and cleansed buttocks,” the inspection report states. The assistant did not remove the gloves or wash hands after cleansing the resident’s back side and continued to apply ointment to his buttock, investigators noted.

Wearing the same gloves, the assistant then put new clean briefs on the resident and a new pillow underneath his head, according to the report. “Certified nursing assistant continued to provide care, rubbing resident’s head with the same gloves,” the report states.

Investigators also discovered The Nursing Center was prone to infectious outbreaks. Another inspection report says a review of the facility’s infections log showed that 11 residents contracted urinary tract infections last July. A review of the previous month’s log documented eight cases of skin infections.

Edwin Ortiz, the head administrator at The Nursing Center, did not respond to two phone messages seeking comment.

South Dade Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, also known as Gramercy Park Nursing Center

180-bed facility at 17475 South Dixie Highway

Health deficiencies: 11

2013-2015 federal fines: $177,873

According to 2015 inspection reports, some of the deficiencies at South Dade included failing to prevent residents from being abused and mistreated by staff; failing to report an employee who stole money from a resident to authorities; not following procedures to prevent the resident from getting scammed; and not providing an environment where a resident can have dignity and self-respect.

On March 12, investigators interviewed a resident who complained that a former South Dade nursing assistant borrowed $400 from him in November 2014 and did not pay some of the money back. The woman “approached the resident with her daughter and gave the resident a sob story about living in a car and needing money,” the inspection report states. “When the certified nursing assistant got her next paycheck, she only paid $160 of the $400 she owed him.”

The resident told investigators the nursing assistant was later terminated and moved to Connecticut. During a telephone conversation with the ex-employee’s sister, the resident claimed he overheard the nursing assistant in the background say he would never get his money back. “Resident said the certified nursing assistant sent a letter with a $100.00 money order, but that she canceled that money order too and as of this date the money was still owed to him,” the report states. He also provided investigators with the letter, dated Dec. 6, 2014, and the voided money order.

The resident told investigators that he informed several South Dade staffers, including the chief administrator, George Hernandez. He claimed Hernandez chided him for lending the nursing assistant money.

While the resident’s therapy director was aware the nursing assistant had cheated him, Hernandez and the nurse director (who is not identified) denied knowing anything about the problem, the inspection report states. “They acknowledged that the allegation was something that was required to be reported and investigated immediately upon the resident making the allegation,” the report states.

Hernandez did not return two phone calls seeking comment.

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