Audit shows Lenoir City nursing home owed residents money
Kristi L. Nelson knoxnews.com
A Lenoir City nursing home investigated last year for abuse of a resident and tampering with files also owes some of its residents money, a state audit found.
The audit, released this week and dated last month, found Baptist Health Care Center of Lenoir City owed residents refunds for three practices.
First, it failed to ensure credit balances on the accounts of deceased and discharged residents were promptly reported and correct claims submitted, the report said. Baptist did not have a system in place to ensure such balances are properly refunded and could not provide evidence it notified either residents’ families or Medicaid, which the federal Affordable Care Act requires. Accounts receivable showed unrefunded credit balances of $4,112.64 from Medicaid remain on the accounts of five former residents of the facility, but the state said the nursing home is in the process of refunding it and has established a system.
Second, the nursing home charged Medicaid residents’ accounts for haircuts and shampoos, which are covered under Medicaid. The state ordered the nursing home to reimburse two Medicaid residents a total of $81.00, which it did.
Third, the state said the nursing home “failed to take adequate measures to safeguard resident trust funds,” charging trust funds for 14 residents $45 for bank paper and check image fees. The nursing home refunded those fees, the report said. One resident’s trust fund balance was about the maximum $2,000 balance required to stay Medicaid-eligible, which the nursing home remedied by buying him clothing and personal items.
The state said the facility is now in compliance.
The audit looked at cost report Nov. 1, 2012-Oct. 31, 2013; resident days June 30, 2012-Oct. 31, 2013; and resident accounts Nov. 1, 2011-July 31, 2014. The nursing home was licensed for 104 beds.
Baptist came under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in April 2014, after an incident where a certified nursing assistant “inserted the fingers of a partially inflated latex glove into the mouth of the resident while making sexually suggestive comments about the resident in the presence of four other staff members,” the state said. TBI found nursing home staff did not follow procedures to report the incident and later charged then-administrator Anita “Cindy” Wilmoth and director of nursing Freda Jo Morton with tampering with records and instructing staff to mislead investigators.
Wilmoth, who had been administrator for 26 years, retired in September 2014. Morton resigned in March. Last month, both agreed to a plea arrangement of probation upon payment of court fees and making a $100 contribution to the Loudon County Senior Center on the failure to report charge; TBI dismissed the tampering with evidence charge and said it was in the process of closing the case.
The original charge carried a maximum sentence of 11 months, 29 days in jail. Morton and Wilmoth have their next court date June 1, 2016.