July 3, 2022


Come Home To Quality

Feds to cut off Medicaid funds to N.J. nursing home, which could force closure of embattled facility

A day right after New Jersey went to court trying to get to acquire manage of a person of the state’s worst nursing households, federal regulators unexpectedly moved to prevent the very long-troubled Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Heart in Andover from acquiring Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The conclusion, which could indicate the dying knell for the facility, was outlined in a 3-page see to the state and other people that was obtained by NJ Progress Media.

The get, which can be appealed, is effective June 25 — months before than the U.S. Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies experienced threatened in March, next a developing record of severe health and basic safety violations that officials claimed experienced threatened the life of the hundreds of citizens living there.

The federal funding cutoff would effectively provide to shut down the facility, which is closely dependent on federal and point out reimbursement.

The nursing home’s administrator and facility’s legal professional did not immediately answer to requests for remark.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Companies in a assertion claimed repeated surveys documented the facility’s failure to comply with many federal specifications, together with quite a few non-compliance deficiencies that triggered or have been most likely to induce “serious injuries, harm, impairment, or death to inhabitants.”

It mentioned numerous severe an infection command deficiencies at Woodland have resulted in 30 resident deaths given that Oct 2021 thanks to COVID-19, as very well as deficiencies for failure to administer “urgent medication” to a resident, which led to the subsequent hospitalization and demise of the specific.

“Despite quite a few options to address their non-compliance, Woodland has not shown it can make certain the wellbeing, security, and very well-getting of its inhabitants,” the company stated.

In the observe to Woodland, Heather A. Lang, a director for the agency’s Northeast Division, reported surveys and visits amongst February and May possibly showed “continued non-compliance” by the nursing home’s operators.

“We have established that Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center no for a longer period satisfies the requirements for participation as a competent nursing facility in the Medicare program,” she wrote. “CMS will involuntarily terminate your Medicare company settlement centered on the failure to return to substantial compliance with federal participation requirements for nursing households.”

Lang reported the Medicare/Medicaid software will not make payment for coated providers furnished to inhabitants admitted to the facility just after June 25.

U.S. Rep. Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., who has consistently pushed for the facility — which is section of his district — to be shut down, was heartened by the final decision.

“After I sounded the alarm before this yr and pushed for accountability, I’m glad to see that this facility will be closing its doors. I refuse to stand by although Jersey seniors are place at hazard,” he mentioned. ”Families should really have confidence that older family and veterans will be properly cared for in their afterwards many years, regardless of whether residing in personal or point out-operate extensive-expression care facilities.”

Condition health and fitness officials explained the detect by CMS was regular with its detect to the facility earlier this calendar year about the prospective for decertification. The federal company had then offered Woodland’s homeowners right until August 15 to make key improvements or facial area a termination of its Medicare and Medicaid supplier agreement.

“The target of the Section of Wellness is to preserve the well being, protection and dignity of the residents of Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Middle,” said spokeswoman Donna Leusner, who famous that Atlantic Health Technique, appointed by the condition before this year as a monitor — tasked with conducting an assessment of the facilities business enterprise practices, functions, and infrastructure — continues to be in area at the facility.

“In addition to the check, there is a day by day presence by the Section of Health and fitness to assure the well being, protection and dignity of the citizens,” she additional, voicing the appreciation of the office for the treatment that the workers of the facility has ongoing to give “during this period of changeover.”

A single of the greatest nursing homes in the state, Woodland in rural Sussex County sparked nationwide media coverage and scrutiny by federal and point out reps and regulators just after law enforcement found 17 bodies in a non permanent morgue at the nursing residence on an Easter weekend in April 2020.

At the time recognised as the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Middle, the facility changed its identify to Woodland Behavioral right after the scandal. It owned by Alliance Health care Holdings of Lakewood, whose officers incorporate CEO Chaim “Mutty” Scheinbaum and Louis Schwartz — the son of Joseph Schwartz.

The elder Schwartz was billed in January in a multi-million greenback federal tax fraud plan in connection with Skyline Healthcare, his failed nursing residence chain that experienced sought to buy Woodland when it was still identified as Andover Subacute.

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In February, the New Jersey Office of the Condition Comptroller named Woodland one of the 15 worst lengthy-time period care facilities in New Jersey. But a well being inspection that exact same thirty day period led to renewed scrutiny of the nursing home just after inspectors uncovered it had failed to protect against various important problems of abuse and neglect, issuing a declaration of “imminent jeopardy” that underscored the likely affect on the health and fitness and protection of people.

Among the details of that inspection report involved the failure to make any effort to resuscitate a 55-yr-outdated resident located in cardiac arrest and not breathing on New Year’s Working day. In a separate incident, a nursing aide reportedly still left a resident soiled in feces for ten several hours overnight. And all through a two-7 days interval from late December into January, there were under no circumstances adequate certified nurse aides on duty to care for its inhabitants. In actuality, at situations, the nursing residence operated with only fifty percent the workers essential less than state mandates.

Those people staffing issues have not gone away. NJ Progress Media claimed this thirty day period that Woodland, alongside with 6 out of 10 New Jersey nursing properties, have unsuccessful to retain satisfactory staffing concentrations.

The point out, in seeking the appointment of a receiver, explained in its criticism submitted in Superior Court in Sussex County on Tuesday a ongoing horror exhibit. It found the troubles at Woodland have only gotten even worse in latest months, irrespective of the ongoing oversight by the watch the Department of Overall health set in position.

Last month, for instance, a resident with a feeding tube was transferred to a clinic and found to have a bowel impaction. That had led to major healthcare troubles, determined surveyors, who reported the tube feeding experienced nowhere to go owing to the blocked colon — other than back up by the oral cavity and down to the lungs — resulting in aspiration pneumonia.

One more hospitalized Woodland resident with a equivalent blockage was in no way thoroughly assessed, foremost to the chance of a perforated colon, sepsis, and demise. And inspectors stated the nursing home’s COVID safeguards were being grossly inadequate, with employees members failing to put on essential individual protective machines or isolate individuals who ended up contaminated with the virus. They stated the facility also did not have correct an infection control plans.

Woodland, meanwhile, is previously swimming in red ink. State officers in their court docket submitting mentioned the nursing facility appeared to be “in acute monetary distress or at danger of filing for bankruptcy security.”

They noted the facility already experienced a negative funds stream and minimal borrowing capability.

As of January 31, Woodland’s stability sheet showed overall assets of roughly $15.8 million and total liabilities of approximately $19.8 million, according to the point out, expressing doubt as to the nursing home’s capacity to pay back its money owed as they turn into due.

The point out health and fitness department suspended new admissions to Woodland in February. Due to the fact then, its populace has dropped from about 450 people to the 360 now living there now.


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Ted Sherman may possibly be achieved at [email protected]. Stick to him on Twitter @TedShermanSL

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