3 Northland nursing homes cited for failure to correct deficienciesA Duluth nursing home was denied payment for new Medicare and Medicaid admissions for failure to correct deficiencies noted in a survey by the Minnesota Department of Health.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
A Duluth nursing home was threatened with denial of payment for new Medicare and Medicaid admissions for failure to correct deficiencies noted in a survey by the Minnesota Department of Health.
A June 13 letter to Robert Dahl, administrator of Viewcrest Health Center, said “we have determined that your facility has not achieved substantial compliance with the deficiencies issued to our standard survey, completed on April 7.”
Denial of payment would have taken effect on July 7. However, in a follow-up visit on June 24, the health department determined that the two deficiencies had been corrected, and the order was rescinded.
The deficiencies included failure to report a fall to the state agency; an employee’s failure to report a resident’s allegation of rough handling to a supervisor; and a care plan for a resident on dialysis that failed to provide instructions for monitoring and treatment of bleeding at the shunt site.
The most serious deficiencies were characterized as Level D — “isolated deficiencies that constituted no actual harm with potential for more than minimal harm that was not immediate jeopardy.” That is a relatively benign level compared to the worst possible finding of Level L, which would indicate widespread patterns of immediate jeopardy to residents’ safety.
Nonetheless, a facility cited for deficiencies at any level can lose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements if the issues are not corrected.
Dahl didn’t return a call for a comment on Friday. Viewcrest, in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood, has 92 beds.
Two Iron Range nursing homes also were cited for Level D deficiencies recently.
They included failure to report an instance of “inappropriate touching” in March at Virginia Regional Medical Center and Nursing Home. Halverson notified Jeffrey Brown, the center’s administrator, on Aug. 23.
Deficiencies also were cited in an Aug. 3 letter from Halverson to Allen Vogt, administrator of Cook Community Hospital.
In telephone interviews on Thursday, both administrators said the issues had been addressed.
Among deficiencies cited for the Virginia nursing facility:
Among deficiencies cited for Cook Community Hospital’s nursing facility:
Brown said Virginia Regional’s deficiencies have been corrected. “We feel we are in compliance,” he said.
The touching incident wasn’t reported to the state because the resident requested it not be, Brown said. He realizes that was a mistake, he said, and he and all of the rest of the supervisors have taken a webinar on reporting abuse and neglect. The nurse’s aide who was involved no longer works for the convalescent center, and the resident was released in May after what was termed a “successful short-term rehab stay.”
He declined to discuss details of the incident.
Virginia Regional has 100 convalescent beds, 85 of which are filled, he said.
Cook Hospital’s Vogt characterized that facility’s deficiencies as minor and said they had been addressed.
“We received a letter from (the health department) saying they have accepted our plans of correction and we, honestly, because they were quite minor, don’t anticipate a follow-up visit,” Vogt said. “But if they do, we certainly have them corrected.”
Cook Community Hospital’s nursing wing has 28 beds, all of which are full, Vogt said.