Vets Home passes inspection
NEAL P. GOSWAMI
Senior Staff Writer
BENNINGTON -- The administrator of the Vermont Veterans Home said Wednesday that the facility has passed a state inspection that began on Monday, one of two inspections the home must pass to remove its "special focus" status.
Melissa Jackson said inspectors from the Division of Licensing and Protection found one minor issue -- an expired medication. The home passed the inspection because the issue was not serious.
"We’re going to have to write Š a plan of correction for that. But, after being here for three days that was the only deficient area. It will probably be a week to 10 days before I get anything official," she said.
The home must pass two consecutive inspections after nearly losing funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year. The home was threatened last year with a loss of CMS funding after several deficiencies were identified. That federal funding - which accounts for most of the home’s $20 million budget - was preserved after administrators and staff rallied to pass a last-chance inspection in September.
Still, the home was tagged with the "special focus" status by the state following its troubles last year. The home must still pass one more inspection before the designation is lifted and the threat of losing funds is removed.
"They will be back again unannounced," Jackson said.
Several new deficiencies were identified February. Included in the state’s report was an incident in January in which two residents punched each other multiple times. Another incident on Feb. 16 involved a resident pushing another, leading to two dislocated fingers and one fractured fingered. A corrective action plan has been filed by the home, Jackson said.
The successful inspection was the result of hard work by the staff, Jackson said.
"It is awesome. The team did an incredible job here as they do every day," she said.
Board of Trustees President Joseph L. Krawczyk Jr. also praised the staff.
"The emotion is high. They really busted their tail ends to get this done," he said. "They could conquer the world right now. They really needed that after what they went through last year."
Contact Neal P. Goswami at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter: @nealgoswami
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