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Medicare Pulls Funding From Troubled Nursing Home Due To Concerns Over Resident Safety

Residents of the River Park Nursing Home in Nashville, Tennessee will be forced to find a new place to live within the next  30 days.  Medicare has pulled its funding for the facility following state inspections that revealed safety violations that threatened the health of the residents.  Although the facility could continue to operate with private funding, the fact that most of its current residents rely on Medicare / Medicaid support will effectively force the facility to close its doors.

Medicare Pulls Funding From Troubled Nursing HomeMany of the safety violations relate to deficiencies surrounding the behavior of residents according to Joe Garafola, the facilities administrator.  “They felt like we didn’t adequately assess and take care of those behaviors,” he said.

According to state inspection records, River Park allowed residents with behavior problems to check themselves in and out of the home. Those residents then returned with alcohol and gave it to other patients. Some of those patients were alcoholics and were taking medication that would cause serious reactions to the alcohol.

River Park will be required to find new housing for all of its 36 residents who range in age from 19-55 within the next 30 days.  There are also state provided monitors at the facility to ensure the moving process goes smoothly. In the past three years, there have been six Tennessee nursing homes that have lost federal funding; five in 2007. In 2008, no nursing homes were terminated from the program and River Park is the first nursing home this year to lose funding.

This is the last chapter in this troubled nursing home’s history of providing poor care.  In June, 2008 the facility was fined and ordered to halt new resident admissions following a surveyor’s report of violations relating to; resident protection, administration, nursing services, performance improvement, resident rights and quality of care standards

I applaud the steps taken by government officials to improve nursing home care.  We will keep blog readers updated to the steps taken by federal and state officials to close the doors on dangerous nursing homes.

For more information on nursing homes in Tennessee look here.

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