New Orleans nursing home sues DHH over license revocation

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 7:02 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- The battle over the future of an Uptown nursing home is heating up.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is moving to revoke the license for the John Hainkel Home and Rehabilitation Center, but now the home is fighting back by suing DHH in federal court.

The Home for the Incurables, now known as the Hainkel Home, has been Uptown for 120 years. It sits on Henry Clay Avenue and houses about 80 residents, most of whom are on Medicaid.

"Many of them are desperately sick, mentally challenged, nursing home disabled," said James Cobb, an attorney for the Hainkel Home.

In a letter sent in June, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals notified the home that it would be revoking its license to operate based on documented violations, stretching back to June 2011.

The department declined to do an interview, but spokeswoman Meghan Speakes sent a statement to Eyewitness News.

"DHH takes very seriously the well-being of residents living in all health care facilities, including nursing homes, and will not tolerate a facility's continued non-compliance of regulations and licensing standards," the DHH statement read.

Among the issues: a failure to report incidents and failure to provide needed medications.

"Curiously, they have attempted to cite things, just as you've brought up, that go back to October of 2011, which have been corrected," Cobb said.

The state ran the home from 1979 until April 2011, when the non-profit New Orleans Home for Incurables took over the facility again.

"The license shouldn't be revoked because as you and I sit here today talking, there is not a single deficiency or a single violation that exists that relates to patient care and safety," Cobb said. "None. Zero."

The non-profit is now suing DHH in federal court and are seeking a temporary injunction to stop the state from revoking their license. The case will go before a federal judge on Oct. 12.

 

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