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More Louisiana Nursing Homes And Hospitals Under Investigation Over Evacuations

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express

Thirteen nursing homes and four hospitals in Louisiana are under criminal investigation by the state's attorney general regarding their handling of patients and residents during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti made the announcement before a Senate panel Wednesday, two weeks after the arrest of a husband and wife who own a nursing home in which residents and staff members drowned from the storm.

Salvador and Mable Mangano, owners of St. Rita's nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, were arrested on September 13 and charged with 34 counts of negligent homicide in connection with the deaths of 34 residents and others. Foti said at the time of their arrests that the couple had turned down offers from local officials to transport the residents by bus and failed to call in an ambulance service with which they had a contract. The bodies of the residents were found in the nursing home several days after the hurricane.

Foti said that Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, where search teams found 44 bodies, is one of the medical facilities being targeted.

"We are investigating every death that happened," Foti said. "We have filed charges against one institution and there may be other charges."

Foti said his office is checking to see if nursing homes and hospitals had emergency plans in place and how closely they were followed. He added that he would be ready to make recommendations for changes in policies and laws if Governor Kathleen Blanco calls for a special legislative session to address the problem.

A nursing home and hospital industry spokesperson told The Advocate that Foti should not only focus on their facilities, but also on how assisted-living facilities and personal care programs handled evacuations of their clients.

"State probes 13 nursing homes, 4 hospitals" (The Baton Rouge Advocate)


It is unfortunate to see the evacuations from the nursing homes. A suggestion for many would be to temporarily stay at an apartment.

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