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Motion Picture & Television Fund fined over patient's death

Original source:

Los Angeles Times
Richard Verrier
February 22, 2012

State regulators have fined the Motion Picture & Television Fund $80,000 for failing to prevent the death of a patient at its nursing home. An investigation by the California Department of Public Health found that the skilled nursing facility "failed to ensure an environment free of accident hazards with adequate supervision, leading to the death of a patient," according to a statement released by the agency Wednesday.

The investigation stemmed from the October 2010 fatality of Carrie Delay, a 90-year-old resident of the Motion Picture & Television Fund's nursing home who died after falling down a stairwell at the Woodland Hills facility.

Delay's family last year filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the nursing staff had failed to properly monitor Delay, a wheelchair-bound patient suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

In a statement, Motion Picture & Television Fund Chief Executive Bob Beitcher said: "The MPTF takes patient safety very seriously and deeply regrets the incident. The citation...refers to an investigation completed in December, 2010. Since then we have taken additional extensive measures to ensure the safety of our patients and the quality of care that they receive."

Those measures have included hiring an outside safety consultant, conducting audits of policies and procedures and providing additional staff training, Beitcher said.

The incident was the most serious to occur at the nursing facility, which had faced complaints from residents and family members alleging deteriorating quality of care since the fund announced plans to shut down the nursing home and hospital in January 2009. The fund's board recently reversed course and began to admit new residents.