3 Massachusetts nursing homes receive Medicaid termination notice

MassHealth delivered initial termination notices to three private nursing homes Aug. 3, claiming the centers did not meet expectations amid the pandemic and had records of poor performance, according to The Boston Globe. 

Worcester-based Hermitage Healthcare, Lowell-based Town and Country Health Care Center and Wareham Healthcare all received notices, the first step toward termination from the state Medicaid program. If eliminated, the facilities may be forced to close, according to a statement from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The three facilities didn't follow proper infection control procedures, such as separating COVID-19 patients from the general population and using protective gear correctly, according to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The facilities had inadequate staffing ratios "that jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of residents" and sometimes refused state support to address "substantial outbreaks and critical staffing shortages, underscoring a lack of management and judgment," the agency said.

Hermitage and Wareham were both listed as consistently low-quality and low-occupancy facilities in a January report from the state Nursing Facility Task Force. 

Next Step Healthcare, parent company of both Hermitage and Wareham facilities, said in an Aug. 3 statement that the Department of Public Health found Hermitage in adherence with infection control standards on three out of four recent visits.

"We were therefore extremely surprised and disappointed to learn from DPH that they had begun the process to revoke our participation in the MassHealth program," Next Step said.

In a separate statement, Next Step said DPH also found Wareham met infection control standards in three out of four recent audits. The company said it would appeal both decisions and work with DPH to address any issues.  

The Boston Globe was unable to reach administrators at Town and Country for comment.

More articles on post-acute care:
National Guard to test staff for COVID-19 at 7 Ohio nursing homes
Montana nursing home that rejected free testing reports 23% of state's deaths
How a Maryland nursing home stayed coronavirus-free: 5 things to know

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