Consulate Reaches Agreement to Preserve 55 Florida Nursing Home Licenses

Consulate Health Care reached an agreement with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to improve quality and protect its portfolio of nursing homes from being penalized for failures at two facilities, The Ledger reported.

“We are grateful for the partnership between Consulate and the Agency for Health Care Administration,” Jennifer Trapp, vice president of corporate communications at Consulate, said in an emailed statement provided to Skilled Nursing News. “By coming together, our collective focus can remain on improving health outcomes and the quality of life for our residents.”

Consulate, which is based in Maitland, Fla., agreed to put eight of its nursing homes on a two-year improvement plan under the agreement. The homes will have to provide documentation related to staff turnover, retention rates, and compliance and improvements in specific areas.

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If Florida’s AHCA identifies a deficiency at any of the eight homes that results in a resident death or injury or harm that requires the resident to be admitted to a hospital, the home will have to be sold to a new owner. The sale will have to come within 120 days of the receipt of a final order upholding the Class I deficiency, according to the agreement.

For its part, the AHCA agreed not to hold the issues at the Oakbridge Healthcare Center in Lakeland, Fla., or Largo Health and Rehabilitation Center in Largo, Fla., against any license or license renewal application by other Consulate facilities.

Oakbridge and Largo had their Medicare and Medicaid contracts terminated last year, according to The Ledger, though Trapp told SNN that Largo was recertified for Medicare in January of this year.

Florida documents indicated in December 2017 that 55 of Consulate’s 77 nursing homes were in litigation to preserve their licenses, though the state withdrew the broad threat to the licenses earlier this month, according to The Ledger. The agreement noted that AHCA had issued or was prepared to issue denial letters to license renewal applications due to Largo being terminated from the Medicare program.

“The Agency shall withdraw any Notice of Intent to Deny licensure based upon the termination of Largo and shall resume the review of any such application,” the agreement said. “If there are other grounds for license denial, the Agency shall promptly issue an Amended Notice of Intent to Deny licensure and provide all administrative rights under Florida law to contest the denial.”

The agreement does not include Oakbridge, and litigation for that facility is ongoing, The Ledger noted.

“We remain in constant dialogue with the agency regarding our Oakbridge care center, and believe the parties will reach a resolution in the coming months,” Trapp said in the statement.

Written by Maggie Flynn

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