Coakley pleased with nursing homes during storm

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 12, 2011


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday that the Medicaid Fraud Division has inspected nursing home facilities to ensure resident safety in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

The unannounced nursing home visits found that the facilities were prepared for the loss of power. Of the facilities that were visited, 14 lost power for a period of time but reported no generator issues. One of the facilities visited did not have power at the time of the visit but had a fully functioning generator. No immediate patient safety issues were noted at any of the facilities visited.

"We were pleased to find that these facilities had taken the proper precautions to care for their residents in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene," Coakley said. "The staff at these facilities cooperated with our office as we worked to ensure all residents continued to receive appropriate care after the storm."

A total of 16 resident safety spot checks were completed at nursing homes in the Massachusetts counties of Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Norfolk and Worcester on Tuesday, August 30. The purpose of the visits was to assess each home's ability to safely care for its residents. Members of the MFD met with an administrator at each facility to discuss the home's preparations leading up to Irene's arrival and, where applicable, the home's response to losing power. The facilities were toured in an effort to identify any resident safety issues and to verify each home's suitability for occupancy.

The MFD is responsible for the prosecution of fraud against the Medicaid program, recovering money for taxpayers and for looking into allegations of abuse and neglect at long-term facilities in Massachusetts.

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