3 nursing homes cut from Medicaid rolls
Designation could lead to closing of facilities
THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION sent initial termination notices on Monday to three of the state’s 360 private nursing homes for failing to comply with MassHealth standards and for a “historic record of poor performance.”
The three facilities were Town and Country in Lowell, Hermitage Healthcare in Worcester, and Wareham Healthcare.
A press release put out by MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, said the three facilities had inadequate staffing ratios, failed to adhere to basic infection control practices, and in some instances refused support offered by the state in dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and critical staffing shortages.
The three facilities have not had abnormally high COVID-19 cases and deaths. Wareham has had fewer than 10 COVID-19 cases and zero deaths. Town and Country and Hermitage each had more than 30 cases but only 10 and 12 deaths, respectively.
Each facility was audited four times in the last several months. Hermitage and Wareham each failed once, while Town and Country failed three times and came close a fourth time.
In the first round of audits, 132, or 347 percent, of the 360 facilities failed. By the third and fourth audits, 6 percent, or roughly 21 of the facilities, were deemed not in adherence.Past performance may have had as much to do with the termination notices as the facilities’ more recent performance. Hermitage and Wareham, for example, were both listed among a small group of nursing homes that had.chronic low quality and low occupancy in a state task force report released at the end of January.
State officials said the three facilities will have a right to a hearing on the termination. Next Step Healthcare, the parent of Wareham Healthcare, said in a statement that it plans to appeal. Residents of the facilities can call MassHealth at 800-841-2900 for information.