The Wisconsin Avenue Nursing Home will be subject to more frequent unannounced inspections and will have to report quarterly on steps taken to remedy deficiencies in staffing and cleanliness, the D.C. State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) said in a ruling last week.
The ruling came three weeks after nurses aides, a Gray Panthers representative and a relative of a former patient testified at a public hearing that the home was dirty and roach-infested.
The hearing was called at the urging of the union that represents the home's nonprofessional employes. Beverly Enterprises, which operates the 355-bed facility at 3333 Wisconsin Ave. NW, called the charges "union harassment."
In its ruling, the SHPDA said that the question of whether the charges were filed because of a labor-management dispute was "irrelevant." The three-person board said evidence supported some of the union's charges.
"Specifically, staffing of professionals and cleanliness are problem areas," said the report. But the SHPDA declined to take away the certificate of need that Beverly Enterprises must have to operate the facility.
"Nothing in the record indicates that there is a pattern of continuing noncompliance with D.C. licensing, certification or Certificate of Need requirements. Indeed, the latest Department of Licensing, Certification and Consultation Services inspection report indicates that improvements have been made to ensure compliance with legal requirements," the report said.
"Nevertheless, continued monitoring of compliance is needed in some areas," the report added.
The SHPDA said inspection reports and reports filed by the nursing home on steps being taken to correct deficiencies would be taken into account when the agency decides whether to renew the home's certificate of need in January.
Bruce Boyer, a nursing home spokesman, indicated that the home spokesman, indicated that the home would have no trouble complying with the ruling.
Gerard Meara, a spokesman for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, which filed the charges, said the union "applauds the decision to clean up conditions at the nursing home."
"We're going to make sure the ruling is enforced," said Meara. "We're going to read the inspection reports and the reports by Beverly Enterprises and confirm them by our people inside. . . . In the ruling, the SHPDA said it wanted to encourage consumer advocacy. We're going to take that as a go-ahead to check out conditions in other nursing homes."