National Deaf Academy resident reported abuse that led to $8,300 fine

On December 24, 2014 AHCA conducted an inspection after a resident reported witnessing abuse. According to an email from the facility’s Resident Advocate, the resident claimed to have seen staff drag another resident out of a bedroom, allowing that resident’s face to hit the bedroom door on the way out. The resident claimed that several staff members verbally agreed not to report the incident because the resident who had been dragged “always hits []self anyway.” The resident claimed that staff commonly took residents “to go into their bedrooms out of camera view and yell at them or even hit them.” The resident repeated these allegations to AHCA representatives during the inspection, and also told inspectors of another incident of staff pulling a resident into a bedroom and then hearing noises. The resident who reported the abuse said that staff had “been unkind and intimidating … since the resident reported the incident.” AHCA inspectors observed the resident who had allegedly been dragged into the door, and noted “raised dark areas on the forehead and cheek bones and small open areas on the chin.” The Resident Advocate’s report alleged that this bruising was not assessed by nursing staff until it was noted by the resident’s family. AHCA concluded that National Deaf Academy not only failed to protect residents from alleged abuse and neglect, but also did not follow its procedures for investigating abuse allegations and for suspending employees alleged to have participated in abuse or neglect. AHCA also discovered that National Deaf Academy had no record of the mandatory annual abuse and neglect reporting training for two out of ten employees. National Deaf Academy reached a settlement with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Adminsitration (AHCA) over these allegations and agreed to pay $8,300.