The Philadelphia nursing home where H.R. McMaster Sr. died last Friday has had an uptick in deficiencies cited by health inspectors during annual inspections in recent years, federal records show.
McMaster, the father of former national security adviser H.R. McMaster Jr., died Friday of “blunt impact head trauma.”
“The Department of Health is aware of the situation and is in the process of conducting an investigation in the form of a facility survey,” said a spokesman for the state agency that regulates nursing homes. The results of the investigation will be available on the department’s website 41 days after the exit date of the survey.
The death is also under investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department, which said it investigates nursing-home deaths “whenever they occur under suspicious circumstances.” The Police Department said it could not say how many nursing-home deaths it had investigated in recent years.
Cathedral Village, in the Upper Roxborough section of Philadelphia, said in a statement Thursday that it immediately notified “appropriate authorities” of the 84-year-old’s death, began its own investigation, and is cooperating with authorities. State law requires nursing homes to conduct their own investigations of a wide range of incidents when residents are hurt.
Attempts to reach the McMaster family were unsuccessful.
Sam Brooks, a nursing-home expert at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia who conducts an annual review of state inspection reports, said the quality of care at Cathedral Village had declined. “In one case, a resident complained of pain for over a day. The facility did nothing, and it turned out the resident had a leg fracture,” Brooks said.
A nursing assistant asked a nurse to check on the resident because she was crying and screaming in pain, according to the inspection report. “The nurse said it was normal for the resident to scream and cry and resident had a pain patch on her leg,” the report said.
The 133-bed nursing home, which is part of a continuing-care retirement community with 282 apartments, was cited for failing to complete “a thorough investigation to determine cause of the resident’s pain in a timely manner.”
That was one of seven citations in the January 2017 licensing survey. In March 2016, the facility was cited six times, up from zero in January 2015 and one in January 2014.
But the number of deficiencies at Cathedral Village was about average for the eight-county region, which has 236 nursing homes. The median deficiency count for the most recent inspection cycle was six, federal records show.
For three years ending in 2015, Cathedral Village, which was acquired by Presbyterian Senior Living in June 2015, had operated under U.S. Department of Justice oversight and with monitoring by a consultant. That followed the 2008 death of Carmella Vernick, who had Parkinson’s disease and dementia and died after a brief stay at Cathedral Village.