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Federal agency cites Moorhead nursing home for abuse

The Moorhead Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center failed to report an incident of abuse, according to a report.
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:55 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - An investigation by Valley News Live found that a troubled nursing home in Minnesota has been cited for abuse.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that the Moorhead Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center failed to report an incident of abuse between residents.

According to a report, two residents last November were involved in a verbal altercation over a loud television. One of them then alleged emotional and mental abuse.

CMS inspectors uncovered that an employee did not immediately report the incident violating federal policy.

“As a profession, we don’t hide behind, you know, ‘this didn’t happen,’” Care Providers of Minnesota President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Cullen said. “If it did happen, and if it was substantiated, they need to work on that.”

Care Providers represents several long-term care facilities in Minnesota. Cullen acknowledged that staff members have been under a ton of pressure these past few months with the pandemic.

“We have staff burnout going on right now, so we have challenges to fill our positions,” Cullen said. “Staff ratios aren’t as high as we will like them to be.”

The Moorhead Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center was criticized in May by the Minnesota Department of Health for its COVID-19 response, which the facility pushed back against.

Moorhead Rehab is part of the Special Focus Facility program, which provides increased federal oversight to troubled nursing homes.

Cullen of Care Providers said graduating from SFF is hard and time consuming.

“I think facilities like Moorhead who historically have had a higher percentage of residents with mental health issues, it’s much more difficult to graduate from that program,” Cullen said.

The nursing home has been on SFF for nearly a year and has not improved, according to CMS.

Moorhead Rehab declined an on-camera interview, but released a statement:

“We continue to focus on providing the best possible care for our residents and on keeping our community - residents, family, staff and visitors - safe in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. We do so in close cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health and when issues arise with our regulator, we work with the agency to understand their concerns, to correct the record if needed and to implement whatever steps are necessary to address those concerns. That process is ongoing.”

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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