Campus Health Care Declared in ‘Immediate Jeopardy’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health has declared Campus Health Care Center in Liberty Township in “immediate jeopardy” and plans to terminate its Medicaid and Medicare agreements effective  Tuesday, officials say.

A state investigation this week found patients and residents with bed sheets, linens and incontinence briefs soiled with urine and feces, while also finding staff levels were inadequate to care for these patients, documents say.

The company has 30 days after termination to transfer patients to other facilities that best suit their needs, says Beverley Laubert, long-term ombudsman for the Ohio Department of Aging.

However, Campus Health thought it best to begin moving residents today, she said. “The corporation has made the decision for residents to transfer before the weekend,” Laubert said. Many of the residents have already selected a new facility while others are working with state ombudsmen and health-care counselors to transfer today, she said.

There is more than enough bed capacity in the region to accommodate the residents so transferring them to another care center should not be an issue. “There are many open beds in the region, but we want to be sure they’re in a place to meet their needs,” she said.

The state yesterday declared Campus Health Care in “immediate jeopardy” because of concerns related to staffing levels  and residents who require wound care or other medical needs, she said. Two weeks ago, the state was notified that the company was experiencing difficulty making payrol and some of the staff quit.

“There were concerns with ongoing levels of staff,” Laubert said. “We’ve been on high alert.”

In a letter directed to Campus administrator Faye Miller dated Wednesday, Brian Dean, chief of the state’s Bureau of Regulatory Enforcement, informed the health center that it was not in compliance based on an investigation conducted at the facility during the week.

According to reports filed with the state, investigators found eight residents who were either wearing incontinence briefs soiled with urine or feces or suffering from skin ulcers.

One resident, assessed Tuesday and identified only as “Resident #20,” was found to have skin ulcers on both heels and the device cushion was not in the proper position to relieve pressure from the heels, the report shows. “The center of the right heel was very mushy, reddened and unblancheable and the entire surrounding tissue was black eschar.”

Also, the patient was “wearing two incontinence briefs and both were saturated with urine or feces,” the report states.

Another patient was discovered to have “food, papers and unidentifiable trash in his bed and had a foul body odor,” the report says. The resident also was found wearing two soiled briefs as well as sitting in bed linens that were “soiled and black in color.”

The report noted that the Health Care Center had just four nurses on its payroll as of yesterday  and had only one nurse scheduled for the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift last night. The director told investigators that attempts to hire nurses through four staffing agencies were rebuffed, and one agency said it would not provide staff unless cash payment was provided up front, the report says.

According to the report, the director of nursing “revealed she had provided her resignation letter to personnel and turned in her keys” to the assistant director of nursing yesterday.

Campus Health Care has been the subject of “special focus” from the state since the end of September — a designation that requires heightened scrutiny because of the number of complaints filed regarding the center, she said. The care center was subjected to two compliance visits.

After a Special Focus bi-annual survey was conducted at Campus in December, the state found that the facility was in “substantial non-compliance” and recommended denial of payment for new Medicaid or Medicare admissions by Feb. 13 and terminating its provider agreements effective no later than June 30, 2016, the state letter says.

The latest investigation led to the state recommending termination for next Tuesday, “unless the facility eliminates the conditions causing immediate jeopardy prior to the effective date of termination,” the letter states.

On Jan. 22, 2016, Campus Health’s parent, New Beginnings Healthcare & Rehab LLC, based in Hixson, Tenn., filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 .

The company estimates assets are less than $50,000 and lists liabilities that range from $1 million to $10 million, according to the filing. It estimates between 100 and 199 creditors, and no Mahoning Valley companies were included in the creditor matrix, according to court papers.

New Beginnings also operates CedarCreek Health Care Center in Warren. So far, Laubert says she is not aware of any citations issued regarding that facility.

The company’s Rockmart Nursing and Rehab facility in Georgia was shut down Jan. 20, according to news reports.

Attempts to contact New Beginnings via its contact information on its website were unsuccessful.

Meantime, ombudsmen and assessors from the Area Agency on Aging District 11 are on hand at Campus to help with the transition, says Lisa Solley, the agency’s chief of community relations, wellness and training.

“We have all hands on deck,” Solley said, assisting with residents’ transportation needs and helping to coordinate new health centers accepting these transfers. “We’re helping residents assess their needs and get them to the appropriate places of their choice.”

District 11 assessors have been at the center all week and some have worked through the night to accommodate the residents, Solley said. “It’s all about the patients’ health and care,” she said. “That’s what’s important.”

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