All Medicare/Medicaid patients at nursing home moving out

Patients leave nursing home

BRISTOL, Va. - Almost 70 patients at a local nursing home will have to find a new place to live -- admissions were stopped at Bristol Health and Rehabilitation Center after a Tennessee Health Department inspection, then Medicaid and Medicare cut its funding for those patients.

At first it appeared some patients would get to stay, but we learned those residents now have to pack up as the deadline for going elsewhere nears.

The boxes are packed and now it's just a waiting game until the big move for Carol Finley. She's called Bristol Health and Rehabilitation Center home for a little more than 10 years. "I thought we were safe. I never dreamed of this," said Finley.

That's because Finley lives on the Virginia side of the building; at first, it was thought Virginia patients would be able to stay.

But we found out they got word their Medicare and Medicaid funding at that facility is also being cut.

The deadline for patients to move is quickly approaching. "As of Thursday at midnight. So it's going to be imperative that they find another place where they can continue to receive care and be reimbursed for benefits," said Eric Boston, Regional Vice President for Health Services.

Medicare and Medicaid stopped its funding for patients the day after the Tennessee Health Department cited several issues in a recent inspection.

For those patients not able to find a new home, we learned they will be able to stay until they can move to another facility.

Right now 28 Tennessee and nearly 40 Virginia Medicare and Medicaid patients will be affected. "Private pay residents aren't impacted by the change. We are looking to retain some private residents, most likely on the Virginia side of the building," added Boston.

As expected, there are problems finding open beds and facilities close by, but employees say they're doing all they can to make the impact less severe. "I feel sorry for these people that don't know where they're going," said Finley.

Employees are also losing their jobs due to the funding cuts. The facility says it is trying to help those people find jobs elsewhere.

Officials also tell us there are plans to get re-certified in both states.

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