Nursing Home Director Retires In Face Of Bad Reports

November 18, 1990|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff writer

The director of a troubled Glen Burnie nursing home stepped down last week after state inspectors uncovered ongoing problems with supervision, record-keeping and patient care.

Shirley D. McKnight, administrator of North Arundel Nursing and Convalescent Center for the last 11 years, retired Tuesday, four days after submitting another plan to correct violations of at least 12 state regulations.

The private, 121-bed nursing home on Hospital Drive is on the brink of losing its Medicare and Medicaid support unless the latest correction plan shows significant improvements, state officials said.

Investigators will make an unannounced inspection in the next week to check whether the home is following the plan.

McKnight has been temporarily replaced by Amy Rothert, an administrator of a Harford County nursing home run by Health Care Management Corp., the same partnership that owns North Arundel and the Annapolis Convalescent Center in Eastport.

Rothert will act as administrator until the owners hire a replacement.

Rothert said she spent most of the week reviewing management plans and hiring additional nurses and aides. She also met with the patients' families Thursday night to reassure them.

"I feel very good about it," she said. "We're working hard to resolve our little problems."

She declined to say whether McKnight retired under pressure from the owners. But a Severna Park resident who wrote a letter to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene defending the nursing home contended that McKnight was "forced to resign."

Rothert disputed claims that some patients have been removed from the home in the beginning of a shutdown. A few patients were taken to hospitals in emergency cases in the last week, but the home has not discharged or transferred anyone, she said.

If state investigators find continuing problems during next week's reinspection, the home is likely to become ineligible for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal insurance programs for the elderly and disabled.

State officials threatened to withhold reimbursements after the home failed inspections in August and October.

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