NORMAN — The state Health Department has cited a Norman nursing home for failing to fully investigate abuse allegations and endangering patients’ health by not providing condoms to a sexually active, HIV-positive nursing home resident. The two infractions were among 16 serious deficiencies cited in a 370-page report released Nov. 7 on Whispering Pines Nursing Center. The Health Department is recommending Whispering Pines, 510 E Robinson, not be allowed to accept any new Medicare and Medicaid patients until the deficiencies are corrected, said Dorya Huser, long-term care division chief for the state Health Department. Huser said if the center is not in compliance within six months, Medicare and Medicaid payments for existing patients could be terminated. Federal regulators are being asked to fine the center $3,000 a day until the problems are corrected, she said. Whispering Pines administrator Sue Horton said Tuesday she has only been on the job three weeks and hasn’t reviewed the report. Linda Scoggins, attorney for Whispering Pines, said staff members are working long hours to bring the home into compliance and the nursing home has hired additional people. She said Whispering Pines plans to dispute some of the deficiencies. The inspection at Whispering Pines was sparked by a complaint that former patient Carol Crow was assaulted there on July 11. Jack Crow said his wife, 61, has early onset Alzheimer’s disease, but told him a man at the center knocked her down and beat her unconscious. Whispering Pines staff members claimed she fell, he said. "She had multiple bruises on her face, neck and shoulders,” Crow said of his wife’s injuries. "She looked like someone had put their legs on her shoulders and whaled on her.” Whispering Pines officials reported the incident to DHS, but officials from its Long Term Care Investigations Unit declined to open an investigation. That’s when Crow got A Perfect Cause involved. The patient advocacy group offered a $2,500 reward for information about Carol Crow’s injuries and generated numerous tips to help the Health Department investigation, said Wes Bledsoe, the group’s founder. Bledsoe said tips included allegations of staff members stealing patients’ medicines, and "horror stories” about physical and sexual assaults on patients.
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