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Former employees at facility where vegetative patient gave birth says staff was discouraged from reporting incidents

A former facility manager at Hacienda HealthCare has spoken out about the work culture at the nursing facility where a 29-year-old patient who had been in a persistent vegetative state since she was a toddler gave birth last month, prompting a rape investigation.

According to ABC 15, Marla Kica began working as a facility manager at Hacienda HealthCare in 1999, starting her career right out of graduate school with a six-figure salary, a large office, and a company car.

“It’s just kind of how – how they start edging their way into your life,” she would later come to understand, Kica told the news station.

After a few years on the job, Kica reportedly joined the internal review committee, which logged and reporting any incidents at the nursing facility, including patient accidents and bed sores.

Kica said that former CEO Bill Timmons, who resigned this month following the rape allegations, reviewed every incident report before he approved and signed them — and she believed this may have influenced accurate reporting.

“You knew that you filled out an incident report and four or five people saw it before he (Timmons) looked it over and put his signature on it,” said Kica. “So the likelihood of the information being reported correct was very-very low.”

Kica also claimed that employees were incentivized not to report incidents, as the company offered bonuses from keeping a so-called clean slate.

“If you went so many days without an incident then you would get a bonus,” said Kica. “Well, that quickly – I didn’t get that. You know illness is dynamic, people are dynamic. Things happen; people get hurt, people fall, people get infections. You know these things happen and it’s ok that they happen.”

Still, Kica admits she received “a lot of bonuses. A lot.”

Another former department lead, who did not want to be identified, said that the bonus system discouraged incident reports, describing a “three-strike rule” in which employees were denied bonuses after three reported incidents.

The claims of the former employees could appear to cast some doubt over the veracity of widely reported claims no one at Hacienda HealthCare had any idea the patient was pregnant or had been sexually assaulted.

Timmons did not respond to a request for comment from ABC 15.