Heritage Center

(410) 282-6310

  • Details of a nursing home fall lawsuit in 2017 against Heritage Center
  • What is the settlement value of a viable nursing home case in Maryland? Get statistics and sample verdicts and settlements.

Heritage Center is a Genesis owned nursing home in Dundalk, Maryland. Filled nearly to capacity, this for-profit corporation counts 167 residents - well higher than the Maryland average (107.5) and nearly double the national average (86.2).

Heritage Center is another Genesis nursing home in Maryland that needs to improve. It receives an overall "below average" rating from Medicare. This nursing home was sued in a nursing home fall lawsuit in 2017.  

Heritage Center scored below average (two out of five stars) in three of the main four Medicare statistical categories: overall rating, health inspections, and quality measures. A standard health inspection in 2015 and a complaint inspection in January 2016 turned up 13 health deficiencies -- higher than the Maryland average (10.6) and nearly double the national average (7.0).

In January 2016, the facility received a federal fine of $1,235. When your facility is performing so poorly that the federal government sees fit to issue a fine, you have a problem that needs to be fixed.

The last inspection report from Medicare raised some real red flags.

  • Staff unable to figure out if resident had an ostomy bag, which you would think any professional would be able to figure out
  • Inability to properly care for a resident bed sore
  • Failure to keep the facility free from accident hazards: in a locked dementia unit, one-half of a pill of Tramadol and an unlabeled bottle of liquid were found.
  • Failure to have a licensed pharmacist review each of the patient's medications

Most nursing home lawsuits stem from nursing homes that do not have the proper systems in place to ensure patient safety. So when you see these types of systems errors, it makes you wonder what other mistakes might be occurring in that facility.

Staff Average

Staffing is Heritage Center's "strong suit" - even though it gets only a three-star "average" rating for it. Genesis facilities are usually right about average. So this center comes out as "average" in terms of certified nursing assistant time, and physical therapy time per resident per day. Heritage Center comes in below the state and national norms for the total time per day that each resident spends with licensed nursing staff (including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses).

For quality measurements, Heritage Center gets two of five stars - another below-average rating. However, the Medicare stats or both short-stay and long-stay residents show that the facility is average or better in various specific categories.

Good Numbers

For short-stay residents, Heritage Center is modestly better than the Maryland state and national norms for successful discharges to the community; pressure ulcer incidence (Heritage Center has fewer); and outpatient emergency room visits (Heritage Center has fewer). The facility is significantly better than state and national averages on administering antipsychotic meds to short-stay patients: only 0.6 percent for Heritage Center, versus 2.2 percent both statewide and nationally (again, less is more: the lower the number, the better).

A possible exception to these positive numbers is the percentage of short-stay residents who improved in their ability to function: whereas the Maryland state average and national average come in nearly identically at 64.8 percent and 63.3 percent, the Heritage Center figure is well behind at 36.8 percent. However, stats can be tricky: the fact that fewer residents improved their ability to function could mean that they already functioned well enough and didn't need to improve. The lesson, with all of these figures, is to look at the big picture and not one individual stat to draw conclusions.

Heritage Center scores almost identically with state and national norms on the rate of rehospitalization of former short-stay residents, and it is close to the state and national par on administering flu and pneumonia vaccines.

More Comparisons

For long-stay residents, a notably negative stat is the number of serious falls residents suffer (Heritage Center, 5.3 percent; versus Maryland 2.9 percent, national average 3.3 percent). A possible red flag is the resident reporting of moderate to severe pain: compared with the Maryland average of 6.4 percent and the national average of 8.2 percent, Heritage Center comes in at 13.7 percent -- a potentially significant spike. The facility's long-stay residents fare less well than the state and national averages concerning residents' ability to maintain their independence in conducting daily activities.

On the positive side, Heritage Center scores well ahead of state and national norms on the incidence of pressure ulcers (3.5 percent, versus 6.8 percent for Maryland, 5.8 percent nationally) - a noteworthy statistic, since long-term residents are more likely to be susceptible to pressure ulcers than short-termers.

It also scores exceptionally well on helping residents maintain bowel and bladder control: its long-stay residents are so affected only about half as often as the state and national averages. (Counterbalancing this point is the facility's relatively high incidence of ongoing catheterization.)

On the use of physical restraints, Heritage Center scores a "perfect" zero percent - no restraints used - whereas Maryland and the national averages are 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Heritage Center long-stay residents need fewer antipsychotic meds than the state and national averages; they are only half as likely (compared with state and national averages) to have depressive symptoms, and they are only one-third as likely as the state and national average to lose too much weight. Heritage Center is very consistent with state and national averages on urinary tract infections; close to consistent with the state and the U.S. on maintaining residents' mobility; and about equal with state and national norms for administering key vaccines (flu, pneumonia).

History of Lawsuits and Settlements

Nursing HomeWe do not have any information on lawsuits, settlements or verdicts involving this particular Genesis nursing home. But Genesis is a frequent target of lawsuits in Maryland. Here are but a few examples:

  • The first medical malpractice lawsuit filed in 2016 was a wrongful death bed sore case against a Genesis nursing home in Prince George's County
  • Another bed sore lawsuit filed against Genesis that same month
More Information
  • Heritage Hill Genesis website page
  • Get nursing home ratings and reviews for and every licensed nursing home in Maryland
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