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A Walterboro-based veterans nursing home has been fined by the federal government following an inspection by state regulators indicating it improperly administered medications to a resident.

A Jan. 29 letter to Veterans’ Victory House from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services informed administrators at the facility of the violations and that “substantial compliance” was required by June 14.

The letter also stated that a physician's notes regarding how and when to administer the medication were not followed, which constituted a separate violation. The violations occurred in August 2018 and were officially reported in October, according to a summary of the inspection report by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

What medication was incorrectly administered and the effects it had on the patient were not released.  

Victory House staff did not return a request for comment from The Post and Courier.

Veterans' Victory House, located at 2461 Sidneys Road, first opened its doors in 2006. The $28 million, 160,000-square-foot facility is overseen by the state Department of Mental Health but contracts with a private company, HMR Governmental Services, according to the nursing home's website.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administers Medicaid and Medicare. It’s also responsible for overseeing quality control in nursing homes.

The report summary from DHEC indicates that after a staff member administered the wrong medication to a resident, he or she was fired.

Veterans’ Victory House will be required to pay a daily fine of $515 until it is in "substantial compliance" with provisions of the Social Security Act it violated, according to the letter sent to the facility. Victory House could stand to lose its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements if the facility fails to comply with the government.

Veterans’ Victory House had to shell out roughly $15,000 a day between Dec. 12 and Dec. 30, according to the letter provided by DHEC. That money was placed in an escrow account while a new in-person review of the nursing center was carried out. After that review, according to the most recent letter from the government to the facility, the fines were reduced to $515 a day effective Dec. 31 and will remain in place until the nursing home achieves "substantial compliance."

The inspection that led to the discovery of the alleged violation took place on Jan. 3. 

DHEC officials did not return calls seeking additional information related to the sets of fines.

This incident, however, was not the first time that Veterans' Victory House has attracted scrutiny from officials.

Dwayne Walls, 76, who lived there in September 2008, died after another resident beat him with a cane. The incident spawned an investigation by state authorities. After Walls' death, a DHEC investigator found that the facility had not properly reported the incident involving Walls and the 88-year-old man who beat him, as the law required.

Gregory Yee contributed to this report.

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Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

Michael Majchrowicz is a reporter covering crime and public safety. He previously wrote about courts for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts. A Hoosier native, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.

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