State recommends feds cut off payments to Bethesda nursing home

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State recommends feds cut off payments to Bethesda nursing home

A state agency has asked the U.S. government to cut off federal payments to a Bethesda nursing home, under fire for six months over deficiencies in care.

Bethesda Health and Rehabilitation has been faulted in several Maryland Office of Health Care Quality inspections. Two elderly women, one a tracheotomy patient, have died and a resident, with a history of delusions and hallucinations, was allowed to leave the nursing home for a hair appointment. She never reached the hair salon and instead spent the day riding on the Metro and on a bus. A police officer eventually found her and took her home.
An inspection earlier this month found that a nurse failed to tell a physician of a resident’s status before the resident left the nursing home for a day with her daughter.

The elderly woman returned to the nursing home that night acutely ill.

Regulators rank deficiencies on a scale from A to J. The nurse’s failure to consult the doctor was given a ”D level,” meaning a potential for harm. The death of a tracheotomy patient was listed as a ”G.”

”Once we get to this point, it’s hard to get out of it,” said Wendy Kronmiller, director of the state’s Office of Health Care Quality.

The company that owns the nursing home, Sava Senior Care of Atlanta, released this statement Friday evening: ”The facility continues to work diligently and in a team fashion to address the remaining areas identified in the most recent survey. Part of that process will include our submission of an action plan next week to address these areas. We have already requested that state regulators revisit the facility for a follow-up inspection as soon as possible.”

Kronmiller’s office, which performs nursing home inspections inside Maryland for the federal government, has recommended Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cut off payments.

The nursing home is still receiving payments from residents’ government benefits. CMS is expected to send the nursing home a letter informing them of the state’s recommendation.

If CMS follows the state’s recommendation, the nursing home would still collect payments from residents who pay for their stays themselves.

Bethesda Health and Rehab will have two weeks to decide its next step.

The state made the same recommendation in September and the nursing home asked for another inspection, which led to the October survey.

Kronmiller said it was unusual for the state to reach this level in its nursing home inspection efforts.

Bethesda Health and Rehabilitation is at 5721 Grosvenor Lane. Sava Senior Care is a privately held company that operates 185 nursing homes in 18 states, including nine others in Maryland. It also operates Arcola Health and Rehabilitation Center in Silver Spring.

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