Nursing home loses Medicaid funding, residents in limbo

Johnson Mathers Nursing Home lost Medicaid funding after a report from the KY Office of the Inspector General.

CARLISLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A negative report by the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General about a nursing home in Carlisle has led to a loss in Medicaid funding, that could force the facility to close. However, there’s conflicting statements from each entity on if there’s an opportunity to make adjustments so the facility can remain open, or if the facility will close regardless, leaving the nursing home residents in limbo.

The Kentucky Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published a report December 8, 2021 about Johnson Mathers Health Care, a nursing home in Carlisle. The report, linked at the bottom of this article, contains more than 400 pages. In it, the OIG details alleged violations including some regarding improper CPR administration and nurses stealing pain pills.

The OIG issued the following statement about Johnson Mathers:

“The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services identified several regulatory deficiencies, at Johnson Mathers, a long-term care facility. The findings were considered the most serious violations for health care facilities. During the investigations, Immediate Jeopardies (IJ) were identified. Based upon the non-compliance and substandard quality of care identified during the surveys, the findings were forwarded to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). After review of the findings, CMS made the determination to terminate the CMS funding at Johnson Mathers. The Division of Health Care (DHC) within the Cabinet will monitor the transition process. The DHC is working closely with the state Department for Community Based Services, the Department for Medicaid Services and the Office of the Ombudsman as residents transition to new facilities. The facility will remain open under state and federal observation until all residents are placed elsewhere. Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens such as those living at Johnson Mathers.”

Johnson Mathers declined the request for an interview but sent the following statement:

“Johnson Mathers Nursing Home has worked diligently to address issues raised by the state survey agency. Regardless, a decision was made by CMS not to allow the surveyors to come in person and verify the corrective action. We are deeply saddened for our residents, families and the community we serve regarding this decision, which results in termination of our Medicaid/Medicare provider agreements and forces residents to leave their home. We will continue executing our mission of providing quality services in a caring environment. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and supporting our staff remains our priority.”

ABC36 wasn’t allowed inside the facility but administrators brought out three residents they say asked to speak with us. The residents defended the nursing home, saying they don’t want to leave.

“I think this place here is a great place for them to live and I’d like to see it stay open,” said resident Jackie Anderson.

“I don’t know where I’ll go, if they shut down. Which a lot of people feel that way. This is our home,” said resident Sandra Brown.

“Leave us where our family is,” said resident Mary Smart. “This is our big family, but we have family outside of the nursing home.”

Smart says a petition to stay has been passed around to residents and employees and gathered 106 signatures. The petition reads:

“We the residents love our home and want to be here. We do not want to change our living situations. This place closing would not benefit us at all.

The employees here love our job and especially love our residents. It would be so heart breaking for all of us.”

Johnson Mathers says the state is supposed to take another look to see if the previous problems have been fixed before it’s closed for good. ABC36 reached out to the state for more information about what’s to come.

This is a developing story. Check back with ABC36 for updates.

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