Bristol Nursing Home patients get more time to decide

BHRC patients get more time to decide

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Patients of a local nursing home get more time to figure out if they'll stay or leave.

The facility is dealing with a ban on new admissions and a cut in federal funds. A judge's decision is helping out in one area.

Tennessee residents calling Bristol Health and Rehabilitation Center home don't have to move just yet. As we've reported, a Tennessee Health Department investigation, which found what it calls several serious issues, prompted the state to ban new admissions. Click here to read more about that story.

A day later the federal government said it would stop making Medicare and Medicaid payments to the center. "We believe that the allegations that were cited in the notice were already cleared ahead of receiving the letter from the Center for Medicare-Medicaid Services on May 1," said Regional Vice President of Health Services, Eric Boston.

The nursing home appealed the cuts and a judge in Sullivan County granted a temporary restraining order for those residents. "It prohibits the state from sending letters to all of our residents informing them of their need to relocate or find another place to live," added Boston.

But this restraining order only lasts 15 days. Boston says this step is simply to get a fair hearing.

We've learned there's a new complication: the facility falls on the Tennessee-Virginia State line. We learned there are roughly 30 Medicaid residents in Tennessee that may be affected.

But Virginia Medicaid patients are not covered by this temporary restraining order. So will they have to move? "We have been in contact with the Virginia Department of Medicaid and are working with them presently but we can't speak to where they are at this point," said Boston.

He says the facility is working with all agencies to resolve any issue. "The goal is to clear the facility so it can resume operations," said Boston.

The facility has not appealed the state's hold on new admissions, saying they're focusing on current residents.

The Bristol Health and Rehabilitation Center should be back in appeals court mid-May. We'll continue getting the facts on this story as new developments arise.

Click here to read the BHRC press release (491kb PDF).

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