State Health Department Cites "Danger to the Physical and Mental Health of Residents" at Queens Adult Home

Albany, March 29 – The New York State Health Department (the Department) today announced that it will pursue revocation of the operating certificate of Mr. Jacob Rubin, the operator of Leben Home for Adults in Elmhurst, NY for maintaining substandard conditions which constitute a danger to the physical and/or mental health of the residents of the facility. The Department has scheduled an administrative hearing for Friday, April 27, 2001 to proceed with the case against the operator of Leben Home. The State Health Commissioner also issued an order immediately banning new admissions to the facility.

In addition to filing a petition for a hearing of revocation, the Department is demanding the immediate payment of $60,000 in fines by Leben Home for the operator's failure to take necessary corrective actions to address recurring deficiencies cited by the Department during previous inspections, dated June 16 and November 28, 2000, and January 9, 2001.

The Department issued an inspection report to the home on March 28, 2001 for multiple violations related to care and services provided to residents in January of this year. The Department's most recent inspection of Leben Home identified recurring deficiencies, demonstrating their continued failure to meet State and federal regulations.

As the Department proceeds with plans to revoke the administrators operating certificate, the home is required to file a corrective action plan with the Department by April 9, 2001. The home must identify immediate steps to correct the violations cited, as well as the precautions they plan to implement to ensure that residents are not further subjected to substandard care. The Department will continue to closely monitor the facility through these proceedings. The administrator's failure to comply with State and federal regulations in this case may result in the assessment of an additional civil penalty of $1,000 per day.

The Department's enforcement penalties and ongoing surveillance of Leben home, follow separate actions taken by the Department's Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) in its prompt investigation of two physicians for performing unnecessary surgeries on patients who lived at Leben home without proper evaluation, consultation, or consent in 1998. The Department revoked the medical license of one doctor and the other doctor's license was suspended following a determination by the Professional Medical Conduct Administrative Review Board for practicing fraudulently and willfully filing a false report. Parkway Hospital in Queens, where the surgeries were performed, remains under investigation by the Department. Leben Home was cited by the Department in June 2000 for violations related to the OPMC case.

The Department's most recent investigation identified violations, including but not limited to failure to maintain:

  • supervision of residents in need of assistance in daily living;
  • knowledge of the general whereabouts of residents;
  • electrical wires in a manner to prevent a potential fire hazard;
  • a clean facility, free of vermin and rodents, and free of odors;
  • sanitary operations in the preparation of food;
  • proper supervision and documentation of medications provided to residents;
  • appropriate documentation of each resident's case management needs;
  • a case manager on staff as required by the Department;
  • smoke barriers to resist the passage of smoke;
  • smoke–stop doors with self–closing devices;
  • freely accessible fire exit doors; and
  • required illuminated exit signs.

3/29/01–28 OPA