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State Comptroller Office finds ‘serious, widespread’ deficiencies in 15 NJ nursing homes

A new report examining 15 of the lowest-ranking nursing homes in New Jersey found those facilities that house nearly 2,000 people are raking in federal dollars with little consequences from state health officials.

News 12 Staff

Feb 10, 2022, 12:32 AM

Updated 859 days ago

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A new report examining 15 of the lowest-ranking nursing homes in New Jersey found those facilities that house nearly 2,000 people are raking in federal dollars with little consequences from state health officials.
The Office of the State Comptroller found “serious, widespread, and uncorrected deficiencies that placed patients at great risk of harm."
“These are people’s homes, and we’re mindful that anything that happens here has to take into account their needs,” says State Comptroller Kevin Walsh.
Nearly 8,500 residents of New Jersey nursing homes and long-term care centers have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. And horror stories have emerged from places like Andover Subacute in Sussex County.
But Andover is just one of 15 nursing homes across the state rated as providing among the lowest quality of care for residents. It scored just 1 out of a possible 5 stars when rated by federal inspectors.
“That means they were providing substandard services to New Jersey residents who are living in nursing homes,” says Walsh.
Walsh’s job is to monitor and audit the state government. In a report released last week, Walsh’s office found the 15 nursing homes most regularly ranked at 1 star, "…received substantial government funding, while consistently receiving the lowest ratings for health inspections, quality measures, and staffing rates."
The facilities on average took in $103 million of federal Medicaid funding each year, which was distributed by the state.
“That there are nursing homes that have received 1 star consistently for nearly a decade, and have not improved, I find startling, and I think is unacceptable,” Walsh says.
Gov. Phil Murphy said that the report is unacceptable. He said that Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli would be investigating the matter.
“She and I and the team are looking on options of how to deal with that. Clearly unacceptable,” Murphy said on Monday.
The comptroller's office recommends the state use its control of Medicaid funds to demand changes or withhold the money. Fourteen of the 15 homes are run as for-profit companies.
In a statement to News 12, the state Department of Health says it is "reviewing the Comptroller's report and is actively discussing its recommendations." The Department saying its Office of Long-Term Care Resiliency made more than 1,000 direct outreaches to nursing home facilities over the last year.


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