Upstate New York Nursing Home Placed on Federal Watch List for Poor Care

The federal government designated New Roc Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as a Special Focus Facility (SFF) after racking up more than five times the average number of violations in the last couple years. According to WHEC, the nursing home has a troubled history dating back to 2014 when an undercover investigation found a “pattern of patient neglect” so horrific that ten nursing home staffers were charged with criminal neglect. Since 2014, the problems have only “continued to pile up,” according to local news agency.

After “a persistent pattern of poor care was identified during its last three inspection surveys,” the New York Department of Health recommended regulators designate the Rochester nursing home as an SFF. An SFF is inspected twice as much as other nursing homes and subject to increased fines and penalties for any violations. According to Jennifer Lewke, spokeswoman for New Roc Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, this creates a “downward spiral.” Money necessary to fix the cause of numerous violations are instead used to pay the fines and penalties. Further, designating a nursing home as SFF sharply reduces the number of residents, who understandably choose facilities with records of better care. This causes a further drain on resources and leads to more violations and poor care.

Lewke says that the New York nursing home fills a unique niche in the area. The majority of nursing home residents suffer from mental health disorders and are often rejected from other nursing homes in the area. Responding to the 132 violations issued in the last few years, Lewke says the majority relate to “maintenance and cleanliness” and not the quality of care. While the nursing home administrators are promising to turn the facility around, the New York Department of Health is warning the facility that unless “significant improvements are made” then it will face additional enforcement, including a loss of all Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Contact our office if you or a loved one was neglected in a nursing home.

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