PORTLAND (AP) – The owner of a Cape Elizabeth nursing home that was recently disqualified from receiving federal Medicare payments has received a provisional operating license.

Haven Healthcare, which owns the Viking Nursing Home, was issued a 90-day license, said Newell Augur, spokesman for Maine’s Department of Human Services. Company officials told DHS that they will correct deficiencies in care by Oct. 1.

“It’s been a challenging undertaking, but we’re committed to seeing it through,” said Anthony Scierka, Haven’s vice president.

Between now and Oct. 1, the department will closely monitor the company’s progress, as well as residents’ safety, Augur said.

“In addition, once Haven Healthcare indicates it’s corrected problems in the facility, we will make an unannounced visit of the facility for the purposes of evaluating whether that is the case,” he said.

Following that inspection, state officials will recommend to federal regulators whether the home’s Medicare reimbursements should be reinstated.

Viking was disqualified from receiving Medicare payments this month after inspectors repeatedly found conditions that put residents in “imminent jeopardy.” The finding meant the nursing home had a month to correct deficiencies and persuade the government that funding should be restored.

In August inspectors found five patients who had untreated, undocumented bedsores. A follow-up inspection two weeks ago found the problem persisted with four other patients.

Haven Healthcare was appointed as emergency manager for the nursing home after it was first cited for problems in February.

The Connecticut-based turnaround specialist has made improvements during the past five months but is also responsible for the problems identified this month, according to the state.

AP-ES-09-17-03 0220EDT

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