Salisbury nursing home could lose Medicare and Medicaid funding

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The Brian Center on Statesville Boulevard in Salisbury could lose all of its Medicare and Medicaid funding after failing to comply with guidelines of those programs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a notice saying that the Brian Center will undergo an "involuntary termination" of its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement.

"The Medicare/Medicaid programs will not make payment for inpatient nursing services to residents who are admitted after Sept. 11, 2017, "according to the notice.

A search of federal compliance inspections found that the Brian Center had 28 compliance deficiencies between July 1, 2016, and June 30 of this year.

According to that report, several of the deficiencies noted put residents in "immediate jeopardy."

Among the deficiencies listed, on March 9, 2017, the report notes that a resident was placed on a bedpan, but then left there for more than an hour, despite calling for help.

The report notes that the calls for help were ignored, and that at one point the resident spilled the bedpan while trying to remove it herself.

The resident had pressed a call button for a nurse, called the front desk and asked for help, then yelled out from her room asking for help.

"I was so upset and my voice was hoarse from calling for help and the (nursing assistant) never even said anything to me," the resident said.

On March 6, 2017, the report notes that a resident with "known sexually inappropriate behaviors" was found by staff in a "sexual altercation" with another resident.

Staff members said the Brian Center did not receive information that the resident was a sex offender until after he had been admitted to the facility.

On February 25, 2017, a resident assessed as a "high elopement risk" went out of a window and walked 43 feet across an access road that leads to an apartment complex, according to the report.

A neighbor spotted him climbing out of a window and called the Brian Center.

The report noted that the resident "tried to climb a tree," and suffered a "skin tear" when he "jerked hand away" from staff.

US News & World Report listed the Brian Center on its list of nursing homes, giving the facility one star out of five, and noting that the Brian Center had paid two fines in the last two years totaling more than $30,000.

The Brian Center has 185 beds and for-profit, corporate ownership through Sava Senior Care.

WBTV has reached out to both the Sava company and to the local administrator for the Brian Center for comment on the report.

Annaliese Impink, spokesperson for Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation/Salisbury, replied through email that the facility is requesting a visit by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to determine if the deficiencies have been corrected.

"According to the Federal Regulations (42 C.F.R. 488.456(c)(2)), the State and/or the the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services must post a notice in a local newspaper regarding a pending termination of a Center's participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs," Impink wrote. "The notice must be posted at least 15 days before the termination takes place."

"Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation Center/Salisbury has requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approve a visit by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to determine whether the violations that were cited have been corrected," Impink continued.  "The Center is currently awaiting that visit.  The management and staff of the Center have worked diligently to correct the alleged violations and we believe that the Center will be found in substantial compliance during the next visit by the State regulators." 

"We want to thank the staff of Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation/Salisbury for their commitment to the residents and families we have the privilege to service every day," Impink said. "We also want to thank the Salisbury community for its continued loyalty and support."

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