Catonsville nursing home decertified, remains open

Facility to lose funding for subsidized residents

May 01, 1999|By Walter F. Roche Jr. | Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF

State and federal officials revoked the Medicare and Medicaid certification of a Catonsville nursing home yesterday after it failed to correct a series of problems relating to the care of some residents.

Karen Black, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said that despite the decertification, Mariner Health of Catonsville will not be forced to close and the 120 patients will not be transferred.

Under an agreement reached with the state late Thursday, Mariner, an Atlanta-based health care chain, will hire a state-approved consultant to help correct the problems uncovered by state inspectors in a series of recent surveys.

In the meantime, she said, the facility will be allowed to keep its state license and continue to operate.

The decertification means that as of May 30, the state and federal government will not pay for the cost of patients covered by the Medicare or Medicaid programs. All but 15 of the patients at the home in the first block of Smith Ave. are covered by one of the two government-financed programs.

Kym Spell, a spokeswoman for Mariner, said that the company had agreed to absorb the cost of caring for the patients from May 30 until the home can be recertified.

In a letter to patients and their families, David Martinez, administrator of the Catonsville home, wrote, "We will not discharge or move residents or lay off any employees based on the decertification."

Spell said Mariner already had brought one consulting firm and will hire another to oversee correction of the problems.

According to state officials, inspection reports showed that personnel at the facility had failed to recognize and respond to serious health conditions of two patients. In one case the home also failed to comply with a patient's request not to be resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest.

Black said the state has reached similar agreements recently with the operators of two other Baltimore-area nursing homes that faced possible shutdowns following state inspections. Like the Mariner facility, they were allowed to remain open despite being cut off from the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Pub Date: 5/01/99

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.