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October 24, 2014

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Assisted living center fined $104,000, will stay open

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A Las Vegas assisted living and Alzheimer's facility whose patients had to be hospitalized because they did not receive their medication will remain open and pay a $104,000 fine under a settlement agreement announced Monday.

Chancellor Gardens of the Lakes, a 109-bed facility near Durango and Sahara Avenue, failed to medicate dozens of its patients, some who paid up to $4,000 a month for care, multiple state inspections found in 2009. Its license was revoked in December, and an appeal hearing on the matter had been scheduled for today.

The settlement also requires Chancellor Gardens to hire a state-selected temporary manager of the facility, starting Tuesday.

"This settlement is a positive step," said Richard Whitley, administrator for the Nevada State Health Division, in a statement. "It is never the state's desire to shut down a facility."

A spokesman for Chancellor Gardens would not comment for this story.

In mid-September a state inspection revealed Chancellor Gardens residents were in “immediate jeopardy” because they were missing medications. A month later another inspection revealed that residents were not receiving their drugs, resulting in three hospitalizations. State inspectors discovered technicians were throwing pills away rather than administering them to residents.

Chancellor Gardens staff have been participating in medication management training since the fall, but have had additional problems.

A Nov. 18-19 inspection found that 25 of 78 residents were not receiving medications as prescribed and nine of 80 did not have one or more medications available.

And an April 9 inspection revealed that a resident was not self-administering blood thinner medication, resulting in hospitalization. The April violation was severe but different from the previous problems because it was not systemic, state officials said.

In 2009, the facility underwent 23 complaint investigations with 19 substantiated complaints.

The state's ban on admissions remains in place at the facility.

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