A Baltimore nursing home announced that it will shut its doors by the end of September 2012. The nursing home’s parent company, Ravenwood Healthcare, Inc. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The facility lost its Medicare and Medicaid funding, and Ravenwood has been unsuccessful in locating a buyer. Residents received notice to relocate within thirty days, leaving many of them in an extremely difficult situation.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Harborside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was the first nursing home in Maryland to accept patients suffering from AIDS in 1985. Despite this history, the facility has had difficulties with health and safety inspections over the years. The building was originally a hotel, and it has had difficulties over the years adapting to use as a nursing home and to modern structural standards. Inspectors with the state’s health department reportedly conducted an inspection of the nursing home during the period from February 29 to March 9, 2012. They identified more than thirty deficiencies, many of which were safety problems due to structural issues. As a result, the Sun reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cut off Medicare and Medicaid funding to the nursing home, effective in September.
CMS’s “Nursing Home Compare” website gives Harborside one out of five stars, meaning “Much Below Average,” for both its overall rating and its health inspection results. It identifies the nursing home as a “Special Focus Facility,” meaning it has a “recent history of persistent poor quality of care” as determined by CMS inspectors. The last “standard health inspection” at Harborside, according to the website, took place on December 7, 2010. The site states that the facility has twenty health deficiencies, well above the state average of 10.6 and the national average of 7.5.
The Sun reports that air conditioner failures at Harborside over the 2010 Fourth of July weekend required the temporary transfer of 150 residents to other facilities. The state of Maryland ordered Harborside, which was known as Ravenwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at the time, to pay $52,500 in fines and repair its air conditioning system.
Ravenwood filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2012. It put Harborside up for sale as part of the bankruptcy proceeding, but has not been able to locate any prospective buyers. It also faces the loss of a substantial revenue source because of CMS’s decision to cut payments. Ravenwood therefore decided to close the facility. It provided the sixty-six remaining residents with thirty days’ notice of the closure in late August. Nursing home patients’ rights advocates are reportedly supervising the transfer of residents to ensure that each one finds a new home and that their rights are protected. Possible injury to a resident because of nursing home conditions and an unexpected move remains a risk, though.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide diligent care and a safe environment for all their residents, and people injured when they breach this duty may be entitled to damages. The Maryland nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen help obtain compensation for people injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online, or call (800) 654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Could Lose Medicare and Medicaid Funding Due to Multiple Alleged Deficiencies, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, September 4, 2012
Appeals Court Reinstates Class Action Lawsuit Against Nursing Home Operator Alleging Rights Violations, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, August 29, 2012
Federal Grant Program Helps Maryland Improve Care Options for Seniors, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 19, 2012
Photo credit: ‘Paca Street Firehouse 08 11’ by Frederic C. Chalfant (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.