TRINITY MISSION NURSING HOMES: BEWARE OF THE ADMISSION AGREEMENT!

I have seen some unfair and unreasonable admission agreements prepared by nursing homes…but the agreements now used by Trinity Mission take the cake!

Every new resident to a nursing home must sign an admission agreement or contract. If the new resident is not mentally or physically capable of signing the agreement, a family member or guardian must sign for the new resident. The typical agreement sets out the types of services to be provided and the charges for those services. The Trinity Mission agreement is unbelievable and provides as follows:

1. Trinity Mission will only provide 2.0 to 2.8 hours per day of nursing care (including aides) for each patient. Not only is this way too little “nursing care,” the nursing home will include “administrative care”in this 2.0 – 2.8 hours/day…which means time spent filling out forms, making work schedules, supervising nurses, supervising nurse aides. Get the picture? The National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) recommends 4.13 hours of direct nursing care per patient per day…which does not include mealtime nurse staffing and “administrative”time.

2. Trinity Mission’s contract states that it does not provide “one-on-one” nursing care and therefore if your loved one falls or elopes from the facility you should not hold the facility accountable because “one-on-one” nursing care is the only way to substantially reduce the risks of those events. Baloney! For example, preventing elopements can be done by having secured exterior doors and a “sign out” policy which tells everyone who has left the building.

3. If Trinity Mission tells a family they need to pay for additional nursing services and they fail to do so and the resident is injured as a result, then the resident’s family agrees to indemnify and hold the nursing home harmless from any liability for injury or harm that could have been avoided had additional nursing services been ordered and paid for by the family.

4. It gets even crazier…if a family member or friend of a resident at Trinity Mission gets hurt on the premises of the nursing home while visiting the resident, the resident must pay for those injuries and damages and indemnify the nursing home from any claim by the injured party. So lets say a neighbor comes to visit an elderly resident and falls in a poorly lit stairwell on a cleaning substance left by the maintenance crew on the steps. Guess what? The elderly resident must pay for those injuries and necessary medical treatment.

5. Trinity Mission’s contract provides that, regardless of the seriousness of the injury or the amount of medical bills incurred to treat those injuries, the nursing home is only liable for $50,000 in damages. Sounds like a lot? Wait until you have two operations and are hospitalized for 3 weeks due to serious injuries. $50,000 will not even begin to pay those bills!

6. Finally, and I have saved the best for last, Trinity Mission’s agreement states that both parties acknowledge the nursing home has decided not to purchase liability insurance…in order to pay for the nursing care required by federal law of all licensed and certified nursing homes. In return, the patient and his/her family, agree not to file a civil lawsuit against the facility or its owners for any negligence on their part.

My Take: This agreement/contract is outrageous…unfair…and unreasonable. Don’t sign it. I do not believe a Virginia court would find the agreement enforceable, but take your loved one to another nursing home. If Trinity Mission tries this hard to avoid its responsibilities and obligations to its residents….then it is not a place I would want to take care of one of my family members. Trinity Mission has at least the following four nursing homes in Virginia:

Trinity Mission Health & Rehab Hillsville (Hillsville, Virginia)

Trinity Mission of Charlottesville (Charlottesville, Virginia)

Trinity Mission Health & Rehab of Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount, Virginia)

Trinity Mission Farmville (Farmville, Virginia)

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.