HAMLET — Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center has failed to meet a federal deadline to correct health and safety violations and may no longer seek Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements for new patients.
The ban took effect June 17, a spokeswoman for the Division of Survey & Certification regional office in Atlanta said Tuesday. The division is part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which sets standards for nursing homes.
Richmond Pines may continue to bill for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for existing residents but not for anyone taken in after June 17, spokeswoman April Washington said.
The nursing home’s “involuntary termination” of reimbursements resulted from an inspection in June that found one patient outside the home, unaccompanied, and another trapped between the mattress and footboard of a bed. Both incidents put patients in what the inspectors called immediate jeopardy.
Medicare and Medicaid are federal insurance programs that finance care for the elderly and poor, respectively.
When the Division of Survey & Certification threatened to revoke the nursing home’s ability to bill for reimbursements, the nursing home’s parent company — Principle LTC of Kinston — said it had developed a Plan of Correction and was confident the home would not be punished.
On Tuesday, Washington said the plan did not pan out.
Richmond Pines is no stranger to difficulties with federal inspectors.
According to documents on the website Medicare.gov — a site intended to help consumers find good-quality care — deficiencies at Richmond Pines range in severity from neglecting to help a patient eat to failing to guarantee safety, placing an unspecified number of residents in “immediate jeopardy.”
Medicare.gov ranks Richmond Pines at “much below average” in statistical comparisons to homes throughout North Carolina and in other states: 1 of 5 stars for safeguarding patients’ health, 1 out of 5 for staff and 1 out of 5 for so-called quality measures.
Richmond Pines has 105 Medicare/Medicaid-beds and 91 patients, according to Medicare.com. The latter figure is higher than both state and national averages, which may explain lower numbers for the time nursing and other medical staff spend with each patient daily, as well as lower-than-average results for rehabilitation and higher-than-average results for re-hospitalization shown in federal inspection reports.
Deficiencies aside, the site lists no deliberate mistreatment of residents or infringements of patient rights.
Richmond Pines is at 769 N.C. 177 South.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.