N. Charleston nursing home improves after two years on national list of concerning facilities

Published: Jun. 20, 2019 at 7:49 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently published a list of nursing homes with serious quality issues, which included five facilities in South Carolina.

CMS listed facilities across the country, which are part of the Special Focus Facility initiative.

The nursing homes included on the list are those which inspection teams have determined have more total problems, more serious problems, and a pattern of serious problems over a long time, compared to other nursing homes.

“CMS requires that Special Focus Facility nursing homes be visited in person by survey teams twice as frequently as other nursing homes (about twice per year),” according to a document from CMS. “The longer the problems persist, the more stringent we are in the enforcement actions that will be taken.”

If the problems outlined by CMS are not corrected, the facility risks termination from Medicare and Medicaid.

Riverside Health and Rehab, located in North Charleston, was formerly on the list, but was removed on April 24.

"This means the facility has not been cited with deficiencies at a scope of severity higher than 'E' on two successive standard surveys and has not had intervening complaint-related deficiencies above an 'E,'" Department of Health and Environmental Control Bureau Chief MaryJo Roue said.

Riverside Health and Rehab has faced several problems in the Charleston area historically.

A previous Live 5 News investigation found a wrongful death lawsuit recently filed against the facility, which joins more than 30 other lawsuits filed against Riverside in the last nine years.

Records from the Department of Health and Environmental Control also show people have filed at least 45 complaints about Riverside Health and Rehab in the last five years, which is more than any other nursing home in Charleston County.

“With the support of its current management team and dedicated employees, Riverside continues to be committed to providing quality care for its residents,” Riverside Administrator Jerrolyn Smalls said. "Part of our commitment includes cooperating with CMS and the state of South Carolina by participating in regular survey inspections, which have consistently found that the care in our facility continues to improve. In fact, we are pleased to say that based on the satisfactory findings of every inspection since joining the program, Riverside graduated from the Special Focus Facility Program in May 2019. Our residents will remain our first priority and we will continue working hard to achieve our goal of providing the highest quality care possible in a home-like environment. "

Other South Carolina facilities included in the list are based in Richland, Beaufort, Sumter, Florence and Horry counties.

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