Statement from The State Health Department Regarding Beechwood Restorative Care Center
Officials Say Transfers are Mandated - Pledge to Keep Residents' Needs Paramount
Albany, June 25 – The State Health Department said today that planned transfers of Medicaid and Medicare residents at the Beechwood Restorative Care Facility are mandated by federal law and, equally important, are essential to protect vulnerable residents.
Federal law requires that when a facility's participation in the Medicaid and Medicare programs is terminated that "the State shall provide for the safe and orderly transfer of the residents..." (42 USCS 1396 r(5)).
The facility's operators, Brook and Olive Chambery, have adamantly refused to correct numerous and significant deficiencies cited by the State Health Department. The violations put Beechwood residents at risk of serious harm.
Based on continuing deficiencies, the nursing home has been terminated from participation in the Medicaid and Medicare programs as of June 17 and reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare residents will end on July 17. The termination action, and the need to discharge residents, could have been avoided had the operators corrected the deficiencies. However, they have been consistently unwilling or unable to do so.
The Health Department has pledged to assist families and residents who legally must be discharged to ensure that transfers are accomplished safely and with sensitivity to residents' care needs. Department staff were on site today, along with representatives from the Island Peer Review Organization—which provides consultation on health care quality issues—and representatives of the Long Term Care ombudsman program, to begin the discharge planning process.
An administrative hearing currently is underway to determine whether the Chamberys' license to operate the facility should be revoked. In the interim, State Health Department staff will continue to monitor the facility daily, to assure that the residents' care needs will be met. Monitoring activities will continue until a decision is reached on the revocation action.
The Department previously sought appointment of a Court–ordered caretaker for the nursing home, in hope that the federal termination action could be forestalled. Because the Chamberys continue as Beechwood's operators, the resident transfers are legally required.