By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND — The State Department of Health as found serious violations at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home and ordered the facility to pay federal fines of nearly $76,000 along with state fines of $250 per day.
The DOH was conducting a regular recertification survey, which occurs every 18 months, according to spokesman Peter Constantakes, when it found several “immediate jeopardy” violations, as well as other, smaller infractions.
Immediate jeopardy violations are the most serious citations the DOH gives and mean that the home has issues that could cause serious harm, injury, or death to a resident.
The Guilderland Center Nursing Home did not respond to calls seeking comment. Constantakes said the Guilderland Center Nursing Home was fined $5,050 per day, for 15 days, for the immediate jeopardy violations, which are considered federal civil penalties. Those violations had to be remedied immediately.
The DOH also instituted a fine of $250 per day for the other infractions, beginning on Nov. 21, and that fine will remain in place until the facility has submitted a plan of correction and had it approved.
“The plan of action requires a set date that all the problems will be fixed by, and a step-by-step guide of how it will happen,” said Constantakes. The DOH will complete an inspection of the home after the agreed-upon date.
The Guilderland Center Nursing Home, he said, has submitted its plan of correction, and it is under review. After the plan is approved and the issues resolved, the DOH will make the details of the violations available to the public.
The company that previously owned the nursing home — Guilderland LTC Management — filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and was threatened with closure earlier this year when it fell behind in taxes, but the new owners — Guilderland Realty Holdings Corp — settled with Albany County and agreed to pay $1 million in back property taxes.
“We’re not trying to be punitive, but sometimes, with nursing homes, we have to be,” said Constantakes. “Our main concern is getting the safety violations resolved.”