PORTLAND (AP) – A Cape Elizabeth nursing home has been disqualified from receiving federal Medicare payments after inspectors twice found untreated, undocumented health problems.

Responding to complaints last month, inspectors found five patients at the Viking Nursing Home had untreated bed sores.

A follow-up inspection this week found the problem persisted with four patients, and some developed bed sores even after the facility was put on notice.

The Connecticut-based company running the home disputed the inspectors’ findings but said it expects to be back in good standing by Oct. 6, the date when Medicare reimbursements would end.

Anthony Scierka, vice president of Haven Healthcare, which took over management of the nursing home this year, said care at the facility has improved significantly.

“We’re not done by any stretch of the imagination,” he added.

Officials with the Maine Department of Human Services, which issues nursing home licenses, intend to issue an improvement plan next week. The nursing home will have to meet the plan’s provisions in order to stay open.

The Viking’s failure to address problems identified by federal inspectors is unusual, said DHS spokesman Newell Augur.

“In the past 20 years, at least our institutional memory is such that every facility has made the changes to come back into compliance. This would be the first where the facility has failed to do that,” Augur said.

The Viking is a nursing home that houses up to 60 residents and an assisted living complex for 60 residents on Scott Dyer Road. The government sanctions only affect the nursing home, which has 11 Medicare patients.

The government also threatened the Viking with disqualification from the Medicare program a year ago after an Alzheimer’s patient left the building through an unlocked door and was found drowned in a nearby ravine.

The company running the facility at that time secured the doors and made other improvements required by regulators.


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