A Roosevelt Road nursing home has been named one of the worst in the country by the federal government for repeatedly failing to comply with care standards.
Published on its website Nov. 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made public a list of more than 120 facilities deemed “special focus” facilities. The label has been used by the federal agency for roughly a decade to identify nursing homes in need of greater oversight. The agency, though, has only recently published its findings under pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups.
Berkshire Nursing and Rehab Center, 8200 Roosevelt Road, has seen a substantial number of complaints filed against it in recent years and has been fined tens of thousands of dollars by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Many of those grievances were raised prior to new management taking over the facility in June of this year.
According to state licensing records, David Berkowitz is the current administrator of the Berkshire facility, which officially took ownership on July 1. Under previous administrators the nursing home was operated as the Pavilion of Forest Park.
Berkowitz said his administration is entirely separate from the Pavilion and he is making every effort to improve the nursing home.
“Berkshire is not the facility that had these issues,” Berkowitz said. “We have had tremendous strides since we took over. We really had nothing to do with the old stuff.”
Berkshire has been on the watch list for 17 months, according to the Medicare website, and falls into the category of those facilities with a “yo-yo compliance history” indicative of a failure to address the “underlying systemic problems that were giving rise to repeated cycles of serious deficiencies.” The most recent state inspection of the nursing home occurred in May.
Being on the list means Berkshire is subject to inspection twice a year and could see more stringent enforcement action if corrections are not made. Once a facility has been on the special focus list for 18 months to two years, there is a likelihood of one of three outcomes, according to the CMS website.
With significant improvements made on a consistent basis, the facility will be removed from the special focus list or given additional time to make the needed improvements. A third option is to terminate the nursing home’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and relocate residents to a more capable facility.
Of Berkshire’s available 232 beds, only five are not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid funding, according to state regulators.