Nursing Home Cited For Abuse To Close At Year's EndSep 8, 2002 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Jackson Center Nursing Home, which was taken over by the state and whose owners were fined $101,000 over the neglect and abuse of developmentally disabled patients, will close at the end of December.
The center, at 1840 N. 6th St., was formerly owned by Benchmark Healthcare of Wisconsin Inc., a North Carolina-based corporation.
The facility, which housed 81 residents, was placed in receivership in May after numerous allegations of abuse surfaced.
While other nursing home companies have been prosecuted for crimes such as Medicaid fraud, Benchmark was the first corporation prosecuted in Wisconsin for patient abuse.
Assistant Attorney General William E. Hanrahan said Friday that the state is still considering charges against some individual employees at the nursing home.
He said Benchmark staff members regularly drank alcohol and smoked marijuana while keeping severely disabled patients in line through the use of threats, humiliation and physical punishment.
The 11 criminal counts included twisting a patient's ear and dragging a disabled patient naked down a corridor in view of staff and residents.
The company officers pleaded no contest on behalf of the corporation, which was fined $101,000.
Dennis Coffey, an attorney for the company, said the incidents involved temporary employees from a staffing agency and that high absenteeism and turnover were a problem.
Under the receivership, another private contractor has run the Jackson facility as well as Hearthside Rehabilitation Center, 9325 N. Green Bay Road in Brown Deer, which also is owned by Benchmark, Hanrahan said.
Patients at Jackson are being relocated, he said.
Linda Dawson, deputy chief legal counsel for the state Department of Health and Family Services, said Jackson was terminated as a Medicaid provider because of the conviction.
Federal Medicaid funding will end for remaining patients at the end of December, she said. The state is moving the remaining residents to community placement, such as group homes, she said.