Nursing Facility Loses Federal Funding Following Patient Escape

A recent news story tells of a North Carolina skilled nursing facility that lost its Medicaid and Medicare funding following an incident in which a patient with dementia left the facility via an unlocked emergency door with a disengaged alarm. The facility claimed that they had propped the emergency door open to allow maintenance workers to move furniture through the door. Staff members found the woman about 15 minutes later, when a resident of a nearby apartment building reported that one of the facility’s residents was sitting outside. This was not the first incident for this facility involving a patient escape; earlier this year, another resident left the facility through an open window.

Aside from its escaping patients, this particular facility had other compliance issues, as well, including an incident of sexual abuse between residents. For these reasons, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) notified the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation that it was involuntarily terminating the facility’s provider agreement, and that its Medicaid and Medicare funding would cease as of September 11th.

This North Carolina facility is certainly not the first facility to lose CMS funding for neglecting its residents. In 2016, for example, a Missouri facility closed after inspectors visited the facility and found residents who reported that they were hungry. The inspection report revealed that the facility was not providing a sufficient amount of food to meet the nutritional needs of its residents on a consistent basis. The facility also was depriving its residents of nutritional supplements. Apparently, the facility had failed to pay a food vendor, so there had been no food delivery to the facility for at least a month. The facility did not meet the requirements of having three days’ worth of perishable foods and at least a week’s worth of nonperishable foods.

The nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan pride themselves on advocating on behalf of clients who suffer injuries at the hands of their caregivers, no matter whether those injuries from result from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or in any type of long-term care facility. We can seek compensation for you through the legal system, while you and your family can concentrate on healing, recovering from any trauma that you might have experienced, and moving on with your life. Don’t hesitate to contact our office today and learn how we can help.