(WOODSFIELD, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the conviction of a nursing supervisor accused of failing to provide help for an injured resident of the Monroe County Care Center (MCCC) in Woodsfield, Ohio.
Kathy Schwaben pleaded no contest and was found guilty of one count of Attempted Patient Neglect.
Agents with the Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section began investigating Schwaben in August 2011. Investigators said a patient was seriously hurt while riding in a MCCC van when its driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer. The victim, who was on her way to receive dialysis treatment, was thrown from her wheelchair and sustained several fractures.
After the crash, authorities said the 81-year-old victim did not receive immediate medical treatment because Schwaben failed to perform a physical assessment of the woman.
In addition, the investigation showed that the woman was not secured in the seat of her wheelchair via a lap or shoulder restraint. Instead, an employee of the nursing facility had placed a bungee cord across the front of her wheelchair arm rests as a means of restraint.
A judge sentenced Schwaben to a suspended 10 day jail sentence and also imposed fines and court costs. In addition, Schwaben will be required to be on probation for one year.
The Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section investigates and prosecutes health care providers who defraud the state's Medicaid program. The Section also investigates alleged misappropriation of patient funds and enforces Ohio laws protecting mentally or physically disabled or elderly citizens from financial exploitation, neglect and abuse in long-term care facilities.
Anyone who suspects Medicaid fraud or patient abuse or neglect can contact Attorney General DeWine's office at 1-800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840