I-Team 10: What's next for Blossom South Nursing Home residents?
Posted at: 08/21/2013 4:37 PM | Updated at: 08/21/2013 6:39 PM
The clock is ticking for a local nursing home that may be forced to shut down. Blossom South Nursing Home on Monroe Avenue may have to close.
There are about 130 people right now living at Blossom South and their families are probably a little unsettled about the not-too-distant future. But I-Team 10 found out that the state will not allow a nursing home to close without first finding a new place for their residents to live.
Targeted for repeated problems relating to residents health and safety, Blossom South Nursing on Monroe Avenue may soon be forced to close. This month, the federal government joined the state in trying to force the closure of Blossom South.
A letter from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to Blossom South's administrator Christopher Roberts advises him that the federal government is pulling its Medicare and Medicaid funding, a major source of revenue for the facility. It gives Blossom South until Saturday to submit a closure plan. The nursing home also has 60 days to appeal the ruling.
Blossom South has been on a list of special focus facilities for more than two years and under additional scrutiny after repeated inspections turned up deficiencies in care. But even if Blossom is to close, families of residents are being assured their loved one won't be put out on the street.
Alana Russell is the director of the Ombudsman Program at Lifespan, which advocates for residents at area nursing homes.
Russell said, “If the facility does close, it's the facility's responsibility to find an appropriate placement for the residents. So i would tell families to be pro-active and ask those specific questions as to what facilities are being explored or what placement options are being explored for their loved one."
In a statement emailed to I-Team 10, Roberts said, “At this time, we are actively engaged in discussions with the New York State Department of Health and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in an effort to allow Blossom South to continue to serve our residents and their families. We can not speculate on the outcome of those discussions."
But if Blossom fails in its efforts to keep its doors open, Russell says there are hundreds of available beds at other nursing homes locally to take in affected residents.
Russell said, "There are several nursing homes in Monroe County as well as the neighboring counties. I feel comfortable that people will find appropriate placement."
For families who may be impacted, Lifespan suggests you tap into a couple of resources. First, speak with the social worker at the nursing home. You can also call Lifespan's Eldersource at 325-2800.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it will not pay for residents admitted to nursing home after August 31. In its letter, it says it will end all payments to Blossom South as of October 15. So, barring a successful appeal, mid-October appears to be the time frame when residents may have to be relocated.