Campus nursing home closure displaces 44 residents


By KALEA HALL

khall@vindy.com

LIBERTY

Decorative hearts for Valentine’s Day were still on the windows at Campus Health Care Center on Friday.

But the facility that once housed 44 residents will no longer be called home.

Tennessee-based New Beginnings Healthcare and Rehab, the operator of the facility at 196 Colonial Drive, has decided to shut it down after the state health department proposed to revoke the license there.

“We want the community to know our priority since we arrived in January of 2015 is the safety and care of our residents,” said Terry Walker of New Beginnings in an emailed statement. “We are working with [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and the state of Ohio to cooperate with their decision to find alternate placement for the residents of Campus.”

On Jan. 28, the Ohio Department of Health sent a notification letter to Faye Miller, who is listed as the administrator for Campus Health, stating the department had proposed to issue an order revoking Campus’s license for violating the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.

“The state is not shutting down the campus,” said Beverley Laubert, Ohio’s long-term care ombudsman and head of Ohio’s Department of Aging’s Elder Rights Division. “The corporation decided it would be in the best interest of the residents to get them moved [Friday].”

The department of health investigated a complaint Thursday that led it to issue a license violation to Campus.

“Based on observations, interviews and record reviews, the facility failed to ensure sufficient licensed nurse and state-tested nurse-aide staffing on all shifts to provide appropriate and timely restorative services, incontinence care, personal hygiene, wound care and assessment, and comprehensive resident assessments,” a department of health inspection dated Jan. 28 states.

The lack of staffing presented “real and present danger” to the 44 residents there.

During the inspection from Jan. 20-28, the administrator and director of nursing at the facility informed the state they did not have sufficient staffing because of staff resignations, no applicants, and staffing agencies would no longer provide staff because of payment concerns.

On Jan. 27, the administrator of the facility informed the state that she would not be returning to the facility to work.

On Jan. 28, the state was informed the director of nursing also had resigned.

The Campus facility is considered a Special Focus Facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. These facilities have a history of “serious quality issues” and are placed in the program for improvement in their quality of care. These facilities are to be inspected or surveyed twice as often as other facilities, so typically twice a year. The longer a facility’s problems persist, the more stringent the enforcement, which could include fines or termination from Medicare and Medicaid.

The department of aging is able to investigate complaints, but cannot issue enforcement. The health department issues enforcement.

“Our purpose is to make sure people are getting the proper care,” Laubert said.

Laubert explained that it is unusual and typically a last resort for a facility to close, but that was the ownership’s decision.

“We don’t like to have people lose their homes,” Laubert said.

The Area Agency on Aging 11 was at Campus on Friday to help 40-some residents find new homes.

“They are trying to keep things calm and organized there,” Laubert said. “They have provided information to help [the residents] select new homes.”

John Saulitis, director of the long-term care ombudsman program, which is a part of Area Agency on Aging 11, said the agency covers four counties and more than 170 facilities and rarely would be at a facility for 10 days straight like it has been at Campus. The agency doesn’t do enforcement but will alert the state if a complaint is made.

“We want to work together with the homes,” he said. “We work for quality of life. People who are here who have been here six to seven years really love this place. No one wants to close a facility.”

All Campus residents were moved out of the facility by late Friday afternoon.

New Beginnings, which filed for bankruptcy in January of this year in the U.S. Bankruptcy for the Eastern District of Tennessee, also operates a facility in Warren called Cedarcreek Health Care Center, located at 4121 Tod Ave. NW.

“At this point we don’t have the quality issues that we had with Campus [at that facility],” Laubert said.

When asked via email, Walker did not say how the bankruptcy could affect the Warren facility.

New Beginnings claims to have 100 to 199 creditors, assets of $0 to $50,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.

The ombudsman program will follow up with all residents at Campus to ensure they are content with their new homes.

“The fact that everyone got a home is great, but there’s still work to be done,” Saulitis said.

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