Nursing home that piled 17 bodies into morgue fined $220K by CMS

CMS found a litany of patient care and infection control issues at a New Jersey nursing home, where 17 bodies were found piled in a small morgue in April, and imposed a $220,000 fine, according to The New York Times.

In mid-April, Police discovered 17 bodies in a small morgue made for no more than four people at Andover (N.J.) Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II. The facility was banned temporarily from accepting new patients, and federal and state regulators began a review. The CMS inspection, conducted last month, found further evidence of patient care issues and placed the facility in "immediate jeopardy." The facility has been fined $220,000.

The nursing home is also the site of one of the largest outbreaks of the new coronavirus in New Jersey — 53 residents have died after testing positive for the virus.

The new CMS report, released May 7, details several issues, including sick residents waiting for COVID-19 test results continuing to share rooms with healthy residents as well as an incident where a resident fell on a wet floor, suffered a head injury and was found 12 hours later dead in a bed. The resident had been running a high fever for days, and a physician has not been alerted, the Times reports. The report also states that although the facility was checking the body temperatures of employees, the thermometers being used did not work.

The nursing home submitted a remediation plan to CMS, which was accepted, Chaim Scheinbaum, the facility's operator told the Times. In addition to addressing the issues cited in the report, the nursing home is required to hire new employees, including a chief nurse.

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