The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

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August 28, 2012

Countryside Medicare funding in jeopardy

The Daily Star — Skilled nursing facility Countryside Care Center in Delhi has until Sept. 13 to correct deficiencies or it will lose federal Medicare funding, according to a spokesman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

On Monday, an agency spokesman would not discuss the issues putting the facility’s future into jeopardy, stating that it wanted to give Countryside time to make improvements.

The agency stopped paying for new admissions in May, he said. According to the state Department of Health, the facility has been cited for 66 deficiencies in the past three years. The state average is 25. Most of these issues dealt with problems concerning quality of care.

Delaware County sold the facility to Leatherstocking Healthcare LLC in 2006. The Countryside administrator referred all questions to the parent company. Two messages were not returned for comment Monday.

County Social Services Commissioner William Moon said the loss of funding would severely limit Countryside’s ability to function. He learned about the situation from a  public notice that was provided to him by The Daily Star. In his 33 years as commissioner, he said, he had never seen anything like this and that his staff will be contacting the Department of Health to discuss the situation. Moon said he hoped this action is being coordinated with the state, which provides Medicaid funding, to make sure the approximately 125 residents are taken care of.

Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the Department of Health, said the department continues to monitor Countryside on a daily basis to help ensure the safety of the residents while it works to address the problems.

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