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Rather Than Improve Poorly Performing Nursing Homes, Why Not Just Re-Categorize Them?

Last fall, we discussed the problems state inspectors found at Emeritus at Crossing Pointe, a Florida nursing home, that posed an immediate threat to resident safety.  During an inspection at the nursing home, inspectors discovered:

  • An 82-year-old patient who died after staff failed to provide her heart medication for four days
  • Inaccurate resident counts by facility managers
  • Residents with infected bed sores (also called decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores)
  • Neglected patients- some Alzheimer’s patients had toe nails so long that they curved around their toes
  • Falsified medical records
  • Staff administering the wrong medications to patients that resulted in injury

 problems state inspectors found at Nursing HomesThe living conditions were so poor that Florida officials banned the facility from accepting new patients.

Now, it seems Emeritus officials have officially thrown in the towel at this facility.  After months of attempting to improve the living conditions at the facility, Emeritus officials have elected not to re-new the facilities nursing home license.  Now, the skilled nursing facility will transition to a ‘senior housing’ facility.

Although the change in facility designation may seem like a minor change, the reality is that the change in designation of the type of facility is significant from a regulatory standpoint.  As a senior living facility, the facility will no longer be subject to any of the regulation imposed by the state of Florida on nursing homes such as inspections.

No word yet as to whether the Emeritus Corporation will retain control over the facility as it transitions to a less structured care environment.

As a nursing home lawyer, I continually see poorly performing facilities attempt to re-name, re-organize and re-categorize themselves as problems arise.  In some cases, the re-vitalization of the facility provides a fresh start.  Unfortunately, most situations involving freshening up sub-par facilities simply means a change in window dressing.  Too often, I see these re-newed facilities continue with the pattern of poor care that got them in trouble originally.

Consequently, it is important for families to learn as much as they can about nursing homes and assisted living facilities before placing a loved one there.  In addition to researching the corporation itself, it is important to ask direct questions to administrative staff regarding the history of the facility.

Learn more about the laws applicable to Florida nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in Miami, Orlando and Tampa

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

Admissions Suspended At An Emeritus Assisted Living Facility Following The Discovery Of: Medication Errors, Bed Sores & Falsified Medical Records

Another Iowa Assisted Living Facility Chooses To Abandon Its License

Pesky Government Regulations No Problem For Assisted Living Facility In Iowa

Now That We Rate Nursing Homes, Is It Time To Rate Other Adult-Care Facilities?

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  • Hello Jonathan –
    Yes, Emeritus at Crossing Pointe did make significant changes to the community since 2009. We changed this community’s designation to Independent Living, which means it is no longer in the business of providing health care. Because Crossing Pointe no longer houses residents who need medical care, many staffing adjustments were made, and the resident population at the community changed significantly.
    This certainly is not just a “window dressing” change. For any of its 485 communities, Emeritus has to evaluate which senior population each one can serve best. For this community, Independent Living was its strength, and Emeritus recognized that after a tragic incident, which we proactively and openly addressed.
    You’re correct that this new designation doesn’t require regulatory health inspections, but that is simply because it is not providing any health-related services.
    Despite that this community is home to independent seniors exclusively, the staff still gets consistently high marks from residents and families for being caring, attentive, and friendly.

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