Sea View Nursing Home in Bolongo has agreed to close its doors after being terminated from participation in Medicare when federal inspectors found a string of deficiencies in the operation of the territory’s only private nursing home.
The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined that Sea View had been in non-compliance with Medicare regulations for two years, failed to keep appropriate records of treatment or failed to provide care, including failing to administer appropriate pain killers, failed to offer respite from days-long constipation, failed to investigate possible evidence of abuse and failed to provide exercises and movement that could alleviate serious health issues.
An announcement from Government House Friday reported the upcoming closure, but did not state when the facility would shut its doors.
According to the statement, Sea View owner Dr. Alfred O. Heath signed a settlement agreement with CMS in which the nursing home agreed to:
– Submit a notice of facility closure,
– Withdraw its appeal of CMS’s findings,
– Cooperate with the USVI authorities to transition residents to an alternate provider,
– Provide adequate services and protections for nursing home residents until the transitions are made,
– Establish an escrow fund into which nursing home payments are deposited and will be disbursed from the escrow only under an agreement with the USVI attorney general,
– Notify residents and inform them that the USVI authorities are actively working to ensure a transition and continued care.
The agreement allows CMS to continue payments for the eligible nursing home residents admitted before June 30. These payments may continue until the residents are transitioned to an alternate provider, or until Jan. 30, 2016, whichever is first.
The agreement was worked out in negotiations between CMS representative Thomas Hamilton, acting Attorney General James Carroll, Health Commissioner Vivian Ebbesen-Fludd, others representatives from the USVI government, and CMS attorney David Rawson of the agency’s Boston Regional Office.
Hamilton conveyed his appreciation to Gov. Kenneth Mapp and his USVI team for working closely with CMS to make the arrangements on behalf of the residents of Sea View Nursing Home.
Mapp said, “I would like to take this moment to thank Thomas Hamilton and attorney Rawson from CMS for working with the team that we have assembled. As I have stated all along, my priority has been to act in the best interest of the residents of Sea View Nursing Home.”