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Pinellas ruling leaves patients little time to find another nursing home

ST. PETERSBURG — A legal maneuver to give residents of a troubled nursing home more time to find another facility failed on Thursday.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thomas Minkoff denied an emergency motion to give residents of the Rehabilitation Center of St. Petersburg at least 30 more days before the center's Medicaid and Medicare eligibility runs out. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the state Agency for Health Care Administration ended the center's eligibility after federal inspectors saw violations that posed a danger to patients.

After Oct. 19, the center will no longer be reimbursed for patients whose services are funded Medicare or Medicaid. Fernando Gutierrez, a registered professional guardian who has 11 patients at the center, filed the motion so he would have more time find new homes for them. But Minkoff said he had no jurisdiction over federal or state funding, according to Gutierrez.

The center says it has addressed the violations and planned to file an emergency motion in state court, but the status of that effort was unclear. A representative from the center could not be reached.

Pinellas ruling leaves patients little time to find another nursing home 10/15/15 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2015 7:19pm]
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