Leeds nursing home admissions frozen after state inspection

  • Highview of Northampton in Leeds. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Highview of Northampton in Leeds cannot admit new patients while a state investigation proceeds. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 6/11/2018 7:12:58 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Leeds nursing home has had its admissions frozen and faces other possible penalties after a Department of Public Health inspection last month resulted in a finding of “immediate jeopardy” at the facility.

Highview of Northampton, which provides short- and long-term care and is a skilled nursing facility, remains the subject of an ongoing state investigation.

Following a May 25 on-site survey of the facility, DPH recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, for which DPH does inspections in Massachusetts, declare a state of immediate jeopardy at the facility.

Such a declaration is the most serious violation that can be issued to a facility by CMS or those empowered by it. It indicates that noncompliance “has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident,” as per the definition of the designation on CMS’ website.

Because the investigation is ongoing, DPH said it could not make any of the documents public. The department did not share the precise nature of the conditions that resulted in the immediate jeopardy designation.

The finding, which makes Highview liable to fines, was issued on May 25. DPH also froze all admissions to the facility, under state statute.

Following a May 31 follow-up visit, the immediate jeopardy designation was lifted. However, the admissions freeze remains in effect.

Prior to this, according to DPH, Highview sent the department a letter saying that the most serious conditions had been corrected.

The health department said that it would provide the facility with a statement with all deficiencies found during its survey. It will then expect a plan of action from the facility explaining how and when each citation will be corrected.

Efforts to contact Highview of Northampton Administrator Robert Petroff by text and phone were unsuccessful Monday. Athena Health Care Systems, the Farmington, Conn., company that owns Highview of Northampton, did not return a response by deadline.

Highview of Northampton, a 120-bed facility, was purchased by Athena Health Care Systems in 2014 from Masonic Health System of Charlton. Highview of Northampton was called The Overlook at that time.

Masonic Health System purchased the facility from the Hampshire Council of Governments in 2009 for $4 million. It was then known as Hampshire Care and had been run by the Hampshire Council of Governments for decades.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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