SNF loses Medicare, Medicaid funding after resident leaves through unlocked door

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The recent termination of a North Carolina nursing home's provider agreement was spurred by a resident leaving the facility through an unlocked emergency door, according to local reports.

The Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation in Salisbury, NC, was alerted earlier this month that its Medicaid and Medicare funding would end on Sept. 11 due to an “involuntary termination” of its provider agreement.

The primary reason for the termination was a resident exiting the building via an emergency door that was left unlocked with its alarm disengaged, the Salisbury Post reported Thursday. The door was left unlocked so that maintenance workers could move furniture from storage rooms through the door, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported in a compliance survey obtained by the newspaper.

On June 12 a resident with dementia left through the door. She was found 15 minutes later when a resident of a nearby apartment building called the facility to say there was a resident sitting outside. That incident marked the second time this year a resident has wandered from the facility; another resident left through a window in February.

In addition the facility had other compliance issues, including some Immediate Jeopardy citations and a sexual assault case between residents, the newspaper reported.

A spokeswoman for The Brian Center told the Salisbury Post that the provider is requesting a review of the termination from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ahead of the Sept. 11 cutoff date.