TOLEDO (WTOL) - WTOL’s 11 Investigates team has uncovered some frightening details about a nursing home right here in northwest Ohio.
State health records show Eden Springs Healthcare Center in Green Springs owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding bills and is currently in violation of state regulations.
Eden Springs came on to WTOL’s radar when a local musician claimed he wasn't paid $125 for a performance there over the summer. But since then, WTOL has learned Eden Springs owes roughly $500,000 in utility and pharmacy bills.
On top of that, WTOL has learned through court documents an alleged resident-on-resident rape occurred there in October, and an investigation found Eden Springs didn’t do its job to prevent it, despite plenty of warning signs.
It paints a frightening picture, with concerns arising about residents' safety. But one major question stands out: Why is Eden Springs still allowed to operate?
"It’s not just about keeping the doors open, it’s about providing quality care to those residents,” said Beverley Laubert, Ohio’s long-term care ombudsman at the Department of Aging.
The position acts as an advocate for patients and residents of nursing homes.
Laubert said she was aware of two reports from the Ohio Department of Health. The first, dated December 3, 2018, found Eden Springs was at least partially to blame for an alleged rape inside the nursing home. Documents showed the accused man, then-resident Tyson Lagrou, had a history of sexual behavior, including being investigated for sexual battery in April. At one point, it was even recommended he be removed from the facility.
“It's really important that a nursing home have a good care plan when they have a resident with those particular concerns,” Laubert said.
But health department records showed that wasn't the case. The report says in part, "the facility failed to prevent the sexual assault of a cognitively impaired resident by providing adequate supervision and ongoing monitoring of the sexual behaviors."
“If someone is living in the facility, has those issues, then the facility has to be taking appropriate precautions to keep all of the residents safe,” Laubert said. “And I think that’s what the health department was getting at in their survey report, is whether the home was taking adequate precautions to keep residents safe.”
An Ohio Department of Health spokesman sent WTOL a statement saying the following:
“If ODH surveyors identify a deficiency that constitutes an ‘immediate jeopardy’ to the safety of the nursing home’s residents, it must be corrected immediately or the facility faces license revocation ... ODH is currently reviewing Plan of Corrections submitted by Eden Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation East and West to address deficiencies identified by ODH surveyors.”
Eden Springs did not provide WTOL with comment on the alleged rape.
Ten days after that report, the department of health issued another, much shorter one, dealing with the facility’s financial woes. Records showed Eden Springs was more than half-a-million dollars in debt to various utility companies as well as a pharmacy.
Toledo Edison confirmed the authenticity of this report to WTOL.
The large sum of debt is against the health department's regulations, therefore putting Eden Springs out of compliance.
For Laubert, the lack of residents explain a lot about Eden Springs' debt.
“When you see a facility that has a relatively low census, not unusual that they might be having some financial problems,” she said.
WTOL learned Eden Springs entered court-appointed receivership, where a third party appointed by a judge has taken control of the nursing home's finances. The facility has also set up payment plans with some of the utility companies.
But WTOL has also learned that emergency responders had a plan in place in case power was shut off to Eden Springs. Laubert said it's concerning to her because it could directly affect the well-being of residents.
In their statement, the Ohio Department of Health said, "ODH is committed to holding nursing homes accountable for following state and federal laws and regulations designed to protect the health, safety and well-being of their residents."
The statement went on to say that there could be monetary penalties imposed for each day Eden Springs is not in compliance.
"We have seen in other situations where a facility says, 'We can't operate any longer,' and they'll either close their doors very quickly, or they'll notify us in advance so we can help with a humane transition of residents,” Laubert said.
But she didn’t see Eden Springs closing their doors anytime soon.
However, after a pattern of documented wrongdoing, the question remains, why?
When asked if Eden Springs should currently be allowed to operate and care for patients, Laubert said, “I really can’t say about that. You know, you have to look at each individual resident, find out if their needs are being met. That’s really a health department decision.”
It’s unclear when the department of health will once again survey Eden Springs.
In a statement to WTOL, Eden Springs said entering receivership isn’t only to fix the problems identified by the health department, but also to fix any other issues the nursing home needs help with.