The Louisiana Department of Health has announced that they are revoking the licenses of seven nursing homes after reports confirmed that residents were evacuated to a warehouse to shelter from Hurricane Ida in conditions deemed squalid by investigators.
On September 7, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) released a statement indicting the actions of facility owners and staff in the face of a natural disaster.
The LDH was initially notified that more than 800 residents of seven nursing home facilities had been evacuated to a warehouse after being ordered to bring the residents to safety.
On August 30, LDH investigators filed a report in which they observed inadequate conditions noting “piles of dirty linens,” “residents were not wearing face masks,” and that “the building smelled strongly of urine and dampness, and was stuffy.”
One investigator reported that they “noticed a male resident in only a t-shirt and diaper full of feces.” It has also been reported that seven residents died in this warehouse.
Louisiana's chief health officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter, announced on September 11 that the state health department ordered the shutdown of the seven facilities. Those facilities are:
- River Palms Nursing and Rehab of Orleans Parish
- South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab of Lafourche Parish
- Maison Orleans Healthcare Center of Orleans Parish
- Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home of Jefferson Parish
- West Jefferson Health Care Center of Jefferson Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Terrebonne Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Harvey of Jefferson Parish
LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips wrote in the department’s statement that, “All of these nursing facilities clearly failed to execute their emergency preparedness plans to provide essential care and services to their residents.”
Dr. Phillips also commented on the treatment of LDH employees investigating the conditions in the warehouse stating that “an individual representing himself as the nursing home owner failed to communicate the situation.”
The statement indicts the facility owner further, saying, “The facility’s owner, rather than reaching out for help in regards to the situation from state regulators, was orchestrating a campaign with the goal of preventing a proper assessment of what the situation was at the site via threats, harassment and intimidation.” LDH notes that this conduct not only violates the rights of the residents but is also indicative of indifference to the welfare of the residents.
The nursing homes have not only had their licenses to practice revoked, but they are also forbidden from admitting residents or sending them back ever again.