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Rat problem lands nursing home on watch list

October 20, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Recently, Citrus Gardens, a 120-bed facility was placed on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Special Focus Facility watch list. In 2013, inspections by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) cited Citrus Gardens, a 120-bed nursing home in Fort Myers, Florida, was cited for rat infestation and other safety conditions. The state agency levied a $20,000 fine in response to safety violations, which included rats wandering in its kitchens and contaminating food in storage areas 

One trap caught a rat that was the “the size of a raccoon,” according to an AHCA report cited in an article. When questioned by the state surveyors, the administrator appeared to lack understanding of the possibility of cross-contamination and health hazards it represents.

The watch list was created for facilities with serious deficiencies. Inspections are held more frequently and listed facilities are given an opportunity to address and remedy their problems or risk termination from the Medicare/Medicaid system.