New Report: NJ Keeps Spending Millions on These Terrible Nursing Homes
The New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller is out with a new report that finds the 12 lowest-rated nursing homes in the Garden State continue to receive more than $100 million a year in New Jersey Medicaid funds.
The report also finds several of the facilities have provided poor care to Jersey residents for almost a decade.
Last year, OSC sounded the alarm about New Jersey Medicaid funding for low-rated nursing homes, but their just-released follow-up report finds little has changed.
Facilities consistently get lowest ratings
All 12 nursing homes reviewed in the report have consistently received the lowest possible rating from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one star, for deficiencies in patient care, medical management, nutritional services, and overall environment.
The new report also finds that the Department of Humans Services’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which oversees Medicaid providers, adopted OSC’s recommendation to stop paying quality incentive program payments to the one-star facilities, but disregarded OSC’s other recommendations.
The nursing homes listed in the report along with the NJ Medicaid payments they've received since 2017. (Click to see their Medicare.gov ratings)
Cedar Grove Respiratory & Nursing Center
Deptford Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare
Forest Manor HCC
Grove Park Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center
Hamilton Grove Healthcare & Rehabilitation
Palace Rehabilitation & Care Center
Phoenix Center for Rehabilitation & Pediatrics
Premier Cadbury of Cherry Hill
Silver Healthcare Center
South Jersey Extended Care
Warren Haven Rehab & Nursing Center
Raising the alarm
“We raised the alarm a year ago, but the State has chosen to maintain the status quo. Nursing homes can get one-star ratings for years and still never face any meaningful consequences," Acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh said.
Almost 14 months ago, OSC recommended the Department of Humans Services’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and the Department of Health, which oversees nursing homes, collaborate to bar owners of chronically low-rated facilities from obtaining interests in, or contracts with, additional nursing homes.
After reviewing a draft of OSC’s report, the state Health Department announced it has taken steps to improve quality of care through inspections and penalties, and claimed it considers the track record of owners in issuing a new license or transfer of ownership, but OSC’s latest report shows that the approaches taken have not worked.
Among OSC’s findings:
• Seven of the 12 lowest-rated facilities were also identified in OSC’s February 2022 report. Only one of the 12 showed any signs of recent improvement.
• Three of four “graduates” of the Special Focus Facility program, which is designed to improve nursing home quality, have reverted to one-star ratings.
• Additionally, 20 owners/administrators of the 12 lowest-rated facilities own multiple nursing homes in New Jersey. Four of these individuals own or manage more than one facility on OSC’s lowest-rated nursing home list.
A review of the Health Department’s most recent inspection reports also paints a grim view of daily life at the 12 facilities identified in this report. Some of the nursing homes are worse than others, with excrement-stained rooms and allegations of abuse. All 12 are deficient in ways that indicate substandard care.
"Enough is enough,” Walsh said. “We shouldn’t use our Medicaid dollars to fund poor quality care year after year. The State has the power to prevent this waste, it should use it.”
You can read the Office of the State Comptroller report here.