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Complaint: Health facility staff weren’t fired after neglect

January 15, 2019

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Two employees who falsified records and failed to check on a resident who died at an Idaho health care facility were not fired, a complaint survey says.

The employees at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center instead received more training, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported .

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare concluded after receiving an anonymous complaint about the issue in October that the center’s decision to keep the employees on staff did not violate federal regulations.

The Idaho Press previously reported that the resident, Drew Rinehart, died in August 2017 after employees left him unchecked for six hours.

A staff checklist had initials declaring Rinehart was checked every 30 minutes like he was supposed to be, but video reviewed by authorities showed that wasn’t true, according to a coroner report.

Rinehart’s death prompted a criminal investigation, but no charges were filed.

An investigation by the facility affirmed the employees’ actions were neglect. However, rather than firing them, the facility gave them more training and updated its policy on bed checks, according to the state’s complaint survey from October.

That decision complied with Code of Federal Regulations, according to the state’s survey. The code states if an alleged violation is verified, appropriate corrective action is required. The regulations do not require that employees be fired, but rather that the facility imposes a corrective action proportional to the violation.

Health and Welfare and Southwest Idaho Treatment Center administrators declined to provide more comment, including on the decision to retrain the employees, citing pending litigation.

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Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com

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