The breaking news that immediately seized my eye on the front page of the April 23, 2014 Houston Chronicle was, “Police say nursing home resident killed 2 with arm of wheelchair.”
The murders took place at Lexington Place nursing facility.
What’s interesting is that hardly anyone ever comments on my blogs or online articles. This had been the case with all the articles I wrote for this magazine, except for this one, which described a few aspects of life inside Lexington Place. This particular article motivated many peers from all over the country to comment, all in positive ways. They all thanked me for telling the story straight.
According to my source, almost all of Lexington Place’s residents were/are Medicaid recipients. That means that Lexington Place was/is in a particularly precarious situation. Medicaid reimburses at rates that are beneath what it actually costs to provide care for nursing home patients.
If you search this website for “nursing homes”, you’ll find much factual information on why nursing homes are suffering. Essentially, most Medicaid-funded nursing facilities are the red and continue to suffer funding cuts.
Here, I opine: there is something about money being in short supply that causes businesses to panic. Then fear sets in. Then dysfunctional management occurs. This is what I believe occurred at Lexington Place.
I believe Lexington Place admitted people it probably shouldn’t have, in hopes of keeping its census high. If funding gets cut, a volume approach is often the remedy, whether this makes sense in the big picture, or not.
I believe, based on information I was given by a trustworthy former employee there, that Lexington Place is also woefully understaffed. That is what I was told, that’s what I reported in my August, 2011 story.
My question remains: if people complained about the murderer’s violent tendencies, why was his behavior not dealt with in a more reasonable manner?
The murderer bludgeoned his victims with the arm of a wheelchair. I presume the deaths were not sudden, but rather, drawn out in a process involving screaming, for quite a while. Where were the caregivers?
I think the answer to the above question must be screaming similar to that of the murder victims is a normal occurrence at Lexington Place.