Complaints prompt state inspection of newly privatized Pleasant Acres nursing home

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

A series of complaints prompted the state Department of Health to inspect Pleasant Acres nursing home last month, just as York County handed ownership to a private operator.

The state Department of Health visited the facility over the course of several days beginning Oct. 3 to investigate four complaints, according to a report filed Oct. 16 and made available to the public in mid-November. 

Inspectors found loose baseboards in two areas that created a tripping hazard. They also reported dried food and spilled liquids on the floors and baseboards, and a "loose grey speckled substance" throughout one room on the third floor.

The intake air vents on the east and north halls of all nursing units — which are a blue color when they're clean, according to the report — were found to be covered in an unknown white substance.

Inspectors also found pieces of paper, dirt and dust in the crevices of the elevator doors, and the report notes the inspectors didn't see any housekeepers during their visit.

Pleasant Acres was formerly owned and operated by York County. 

After a contentious public debate, the county agreed to sell the 375-bed facility to for-profit nursing home operator Premier Healthcare Management for $30.8 million. The company officially took ownership on Oct. 1, according to the state Department of Health, but county spokesman Mark Walters said the deal closed on Oct. 3.

County representatives declined to comment Wednesday, Nov. 28, and a representative from Pleasant Acres could not be immediately reached for comment.

Lisa Sofia, CEO of Premier Healthcare Management, speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 3, at Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as York County Commissioner Chris Reilly looks on. Premier is expected to take ownership of the nursing home in July. (Photo by David Weissman)

Nate Wardle, spokesman for the health department, said the infractions in the report are classified as inflicting "minimal harm" and that they were observed in only a few places.

The department's other classifications are minimal citation with no harm, actual harm and serious harm. In any given report, the department will indicate whether there are only a few violations, a pattern of violations or violations found in all observed areas.

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Pleasant Acres submitted a plan of correction addressing each of the infractions in the recent report. The report indicates that during the inspection, the nursing home administrator and nursing director accompanied inspectors and acknowledged the noted violations.

According to the submitted plan of correction, the nursing home immediately took steps to address the violations listed in the report.

On Oct. 4, the Pleasant Acres maintenance team cleaned the intake air vents and repaired the loose baseboards. Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12, housekeeping staff cleaned the elevators, floors, baseboards and the third-floor room cited in the report.

The nursing home also reported that the housekeeping department was under new management and that the new manager created a "deep clean" schedule for rooms in every unit.

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The housekeeping manager, maintenance director and nursing home administrator said in the report that they would conduct random quality control inspections on a weekly basis for four weeks, followed by a monthly basis for three months.

Prior to the October 2018 report — under York County ownership — the most recent violation noted by the health department was in July 2018, when a resident was found to have suffered a knee fracture after having been moved without the proper mechanical lift.

That violation was classified as actual harm, and the certified nursing assistant who was involved is no longer an employee at Pleasant Acres.

In October 2017, the facility was cited for a pattern of minimal harm with regard to the frequency of personal grooming assistance received by some residents.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that while the state says ownership transferred on Oct. 1, York County spokesman Mark Walters said the sale of the nursing home was finalized on Oct. 3.