Two Glen Burnie nursing homes have received a clean bill of health after being threatened with state sanctions for not providing proper patient care.
North Arundel Nursing and Convalescent Center and Arundel Geriatric and Nursing Center, which were cited this fall for failing to meet state regulations, cleared follow-up inspections in lateDecember.
Both nursing homes will continue to be monitored closely by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. But the agency withdrewits recommendation to withhold Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements after the centers passed their follow-up exams.
"Their plans of correction were implemented, and the follow-up inspections showed marked improvement," said Carol Benner, acting director of licensing and certification for the Health Department. "We have rescinded the threat to terminate their Medicare and Medicaid financing."
North Arundel was the first of the two centers asked to improve care this fall. The 121-bed nursing home on Hospital Drive failed its annual inspection in August and a follow-up review in October.
State inspectors, who spent a week in early October reviewing records and following nurses on their rounds, documented more than a dozen times when patients received the wrong food or medication. The center also was faulted for inadequate supervision, staffing and record-keeping.
A few weeks later, health officials uncovered similar problems at Arundel Geriatric's new satellite unit on Furnace Branch Road. Although the 115-bedmain building passed the inspection, the center's 42-bed program for patients under psychiatric care was cited for violations of 14 regulations.
Most of the problems stemmed from not hiring and training enough nurses and aides. Inspectors reported that minor injuries and medical complications could have been avoided with better staffing and supervision.
None of the violations at either center were considered life-threatening. But the ongoing problems prompted health officials to threaten to strip the centers of their Medicare and Medicaid support.
Nursing homes rely heavily on income from the twin federal insurance programs for the elderly, needy and disabled.
State inspectors "will make some interim, surprise visits" before the next annual review, Benner said.
Michael Francus, co-owner of Arundel Geriatric and Nursing Center, said he hopes to maintain a good record.
"We will continue to try to achieve the best possible care for our residents," he said.
Amy Rothert, acting director of North Arundel Nursing and Convalescent Center, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Rothert has served as administrator since the former director, Shirley D. McKnight, stepped down in November.