Vermont nursing closing after federal payments cut off

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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) — Residents of a Vermont nursing home are looking for new places to live after learning the facility is closing at the end of November.Brookside Health and Rehabilitation Center in White River Junction notified residents Wednesday, five days after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would end payments for patient care at the 67-bed facility, The Valley News reported .The federal agency said the nursing home has failed to meet basic health and safety requirements, and a series of state inspections have found deficiencies in food safety, staffing levels and ensuring that patients saw doctors regularly. Dartmouth-Hitchcock stopped providing a physician to direct medical care at the facility in May, and a recent state report said staff members failed to adequately supervise and assist 13 of the home's 39 patients."I applied to all the local places," said Tom Ralston, 62, who leads the home's Residents Council and is partially paralyzed. "I got put on their waiting lists."Holly Martin said she is looking for other options in the region for her 101-year-old father, David Fortin, who moved into Brookside about two years ago for what was initially a temporary stint to recover from a food infection."Oh, gosh, here we go again," Martin said. "I hate to do it to him. At 101, it's hard to move. He has good relationships with a lot of the staff at Brookside. And I feel bad for everybody there, especially for a lot of the folks who are on various forms of aid. That's their family. That's their friends. That's their life."Administrator Paul Kovacs said officials won't be available for comment until Monday.


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