For Immediate Release - September 09, 2011

AG Coakley's Office Inspects Nursing Homes After Tropical Storm Irene

Unannounced Visits Found Facilities Prepared For Loss Of Power

BOSTON - Nursing homes across the state received unannounced visits by AG Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division last week when investigators inspected the facilities to ensure resident safety in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

"We were pleased to find that these facilities had taken the proper precautions to care for their residents in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene," said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "The staff at these facilities cooperated with our office as we worked to ensure all residents continued to receive appropriate care after the storm."

On Tuesday, August 30, investigators conducted 16 resident safety spot checks at nursing homes in Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Norfolk, and Worcester counties. The purpose of these visits was to assess each home's ability to safely care for its residents. The homes visited were located in areas that had lost power due to the effects of Hurricane Irene. At each of the facilities, investigators met with an administrator to discuss the home's preparations leading up to the arrival of Irene and where applicable, the home's response to losing power. Investigators toured the facilities in an effort to identify any resident safety issues and verify each home's suitability for occupancy.

Of the facilities visited, 14 had lost power for a period of time, but reported no generator issues. One facility did not have power while investigators were present but did have a fully functioning generator. No immediate patient safety issues were noted at any of the facilities visited.

In addition to prosecuting fraud against the Medicaid program and recovering money for taxpayers, The Medicaid Fraud Division is also responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect at long-term care facilities in Massachusetts.