Nursing Home Closing: Some Nursing Homes Close Instead of Fixing the Problem

Nursing Homes Remedy to Problems Can be to Close

The sad reality is that there are nursing homes that would rather close down than remedy problems in their facilities. Realize that nursing homes are about profit. If these nursing facilities can get away with providing sub-standard help and providing sub-standard care to the elderly who are in their facilities, they will do it. That’s just the way it is. It is fact of life. Here is a case of a nursing home owned by a large company, Life Centers of America, that decided that it simply did not want to remedy the serious problems it faced. Quite likely, the cost and the ultimate “bottom line” was at the heart of the decision. This company states on its web site that it “operates more than 200 skilled nursing homes, assisted living, retirement, home care and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states – from Boston, Massachusetts to Hilo, Hawaii.” From The Daily Times, by Iva Butler:

The corporate owner of Colonial Hills Nursing Center was given chances to remedy a facility with numerous deficiencies but failed to correct big problems, and now residents are scrambling to relocate, state officials said Friday.

The state told the nursing center in late December to relocate about 100 Medicare and Medicaid patients by Feb. 6, but the owner decided to shut the facility down to all 164 patients until it can be refurbished and reopened. Colonial Hills, located at 2034 Cochran Road, Maryville, is owned and operated by Life Centers of America. Vincent Davis, the director of Health Care Facilities for the Tennessee Department of Health, Friday outlined the problems that led to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decertifying the facility provider agreement in late December.

That means they cut off the money for the services. The state and federal government will not pay for subquality care, Davis said. Complaints were made, which resulted in the state doing an investigation that revealed numerous deficiencies, some that were potentially life-threatening. On June 17, 2011, 95 pages of deficiencies were found. There was the potential for harm to three residents out of 12, he said. Some residents on the blood thinner Coumadin were given antibiotics, which could cause serious increased bleeding, he said. On July 29, 2011, the facility was placed in a special focus group, which meant instead of inspections once a year it would be checked every six months. To graduate, a facility would have to have two consecutive surveys with no deficiencies higher than a certain level. “The intention is to produce rapid improvement in care,” Davis said. Read More

On the home page of Life Centers of America, they say: “We understand your loved one is irreplaceable in your life, and we’re committed to providing superior nursing home and long-term care, as well as rehabilitation services. We’ll show you ways to stay involved in the care of loved ones, and work with you to maintain the highest quality of life.”

I suspect there’s some folks in Tennesse who would dispute with them over those words.



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