GlenCare officially hit with $16,000 fine
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 24, 2011 1:50 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The owners of GlenCare, an assisted living center where six residents died from hepatitis-related deaths, has been fined $16,000 by the state.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services levied the fine on Wednesday, but the information was not made public until Friday, after learning that the facility had been notified.
Over a week ago, the Division of Health Service Regulations' Penalty Review Committee voted unanimously to support the fine as recommended by its Adult Care Section.
According to the "Penalty Recommendation Sheet" issued in May, two confirmed cases of hepatitis B were reported to the Division of Public Health in October 2010. Both residents were admitted to Wayne Memorial Hospital. A total of four residents, all diabetics, had been admitted to the hospital, with investigation ultimately confirming that six diabetic cases from the facility within the previous three months had hepatitis B, including three who had died.
Another person, a state report said, had died before the hepatitis diagnosis could be confirmed.
The state subsequently made several unannounced visits to the facility, reviewing records, interviewing staff and observing practices.
Initially, owners and administrators at GlenCare maintained their staff's innocence of any wrongdoing,
Further investigation by the state determined that staff had not followed protocol for disinfecting the glucometer and lancing device pens. State health officials said the faulty practices likely spread hepatitis B to eight elderly residents, including the six who died.
GlenCare has 60 days to appeal or must pay the fine, officials said.
--The Associated Press contributed to this story.