Nursing home with most sex offenders shut down for repeat violations

Bryden Place Nursing Home in Columbus, which housed the most sex offenders of any facility in the state, is closing due to multiple health and safety violations.  (Photo: Katie Wedell/Dayton Daily News)
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Bryden Place Nursing Home in Columbus, which housed the most sex offenders of any facility in the state, is closing due to multiple health and safety violations. (Photo: Katie Wedell/Dayton Daily News)

A Columbus nursing home that housed the most sex offenders of any facility in the state, and has been plagued by health and safety violations, is closing after the federal government terminated its Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The Ohio Department of Health has also issued a notice to Bryden Place that its state license will be revoked.

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Letters about the state and federal action cited uncorrected health inspection violations, including one in July that placed “the health and safety of your residents in immediate jeopardy.”

The home was cited for 53 health deficiencies in less than six months.

“Each time the Health Department came back … they found the same deficiencies or more deficiencies,” said Bev Laubert Ohio’s long-term care ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s office, part of the Department of Aging, is helping find new housing for the displaced residents from Bryden Place.

As of Thursday, all but 16 individuals had been moved out of the home.

In September when the Dayton Daily News visited Bryden Place during an investigation into sex offenders living in Ohio nursing facilities, there were 18 such offenders living there, more than any other home in the state.

Placing those individuals in other homes “is not an easy thing to do,” Laubert said. But so far the state is figuring it out a place for each person based on their individual situation.

“We focus on what are the individual’s needs and what degree of risk do they pose,” she said. Some nursing homes in the state will not accept sex offenders, but many will.

One former Bryden Place resident talked to the Dayton Daily News about his struggles getting quality nursing care while labeled as a sex offender decades after he’d served his time.

The investigation found that sex offenders are concentrated in a small number of facilities, which tend to have more serious health, safety and staffing deficiencies.

Bryden Place was cited in 2015 for failing to prevent an attempted rape of one resident by another resident.

Anthony Jerome Carson was not a registered sex offender, but state records indicate staff members had concerns about his behavior and even suggested discharging him prior to January 2015, when he was caught attempting to rape a female resident in her bed.

Carson was convicted of gross sexual imposition, sentenced to one year probation, and required to register as a Tier I sex offender. His probation was revoked for a violation a year ago, but he does not currently appear on the sex offender registry or Ohio prison inmate database. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The former Carlton Manor in Washington Court House previously had the largest sex offender population in the state, but it was also shut down following multiple failed inspections in 2014.

These closures demonstrate the compounding issues homes fear can happen if they take in sex offenders, advocates for the nursing home industry say.

“The places that are going to be willing to take the difficult patients are those that may struggle to attract less difficult people,” Peter Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, said last year. “What you find is that in addition to sex offenders, they probably have folks with other behavioral issues in those facilities. When the surveyors come in they’re going to find issues because of that population, so that causes them to get a bad survey, which drives down their star (Medicare rating).

“It’s a circular sort of thing.”

Bryden Place was fined more than $100,000 for violations by the federal government from 2014 to 2016. Since May 1, an additional $275,000 in fines has been assessed.

Its ranking on the federal government’s online nursing home compare tool is “much below average” or one out of five stars based on health inspections, staffing levels and patient care quality measures.

We’ve reached out to the home’s parent company, Embassy Healthcare, for comment. Bryden Place no longer appears on a list of communities on Embassy’s website.