Monday, September 9, 2013

Hampton's Ashwood raises questions about licensing process

Months into a waiting game on the future of Ashwood Assisted Living in Hampton, owner Scott Schuett has voluntarily closed two additional homes, Oakwood in Suffolk in June and, last month, Colonial Home in Chesapeake. Of the six homes, housing 400 residents, which he operated just a couple of years ago, only Ashwood and Chesapeake Home in Chesapeake remain open. Neither has a current license.

Conditions at Ashwood have failed to meet state standards on countless occasions over the past few years. Multiple inspections have revealed hundreds of violations, including medication mismanagement, bedbugs and insufficient food for residents. Its license expired a year ago, on Aug. 25, 2012, but it continues to operate while its revocation is under appeal. Chesapeake Home's provisional license expired on June 30.

The latest step in the Ashwood appeal took place at a closed hearing in Newport News at the end of May. At that time the hearing officer said a decision would be made within 90 days. But, according to Patricia "Trish" Meyer, regional licensing administrator for the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS), the need for additional information extended the hearing process into mid-July, which pushed back the 90-day window. Once the hearing officer's recommendation is received, the DSS Commissioner then has an additional 30 days to make a case decision.

"I would love for this to be resolved as soon as possible," said Lynne Williams, director of the Division of Licensing Programs for DSS which regulates the state's 539 assisted living facilities or ALFs. "I believe providers have rights and should have appeal rights. It can take a very long time to get through the appeals process. It can be quite frustrating."

According to Williams, there are two means of closing a facility, the current process being pursued by DSS with regard to Ashwood, and summary suspension. With the latter, the DSS commissioner can order a facility to close immediately, but it has to go before a judge within three days. "I doubt if we've done it at all this year. There's a heavy burden of proof on us," said Williams, citing an instance where a judge dismissed a case against a facility because "it hadn't killed anyone recently."

When Schuett took over Ashwood in 2009, it was his first foray into working with residents receiving state auxiliary grants. Used with Social Security income, they provide homes with about $1,100 a month for each resident. In a December 2012 interview, Schuett claimed to be the largest provider of auxiliary grant beds in the state. (The program serves about 6,000 people statewide.) Since then, he has declined to give interviews to the newspaper. An administrator who answered the phone at Ashwood this week declined to comment on the facility's status.

"Our goal is always to keep facilities open and get them within compliance," said Williams, citing license revocation as a last resort.

Full Article and Source:
Hampton's Ashwood raises questions about licensing process

See Also:
Virginia: Scott Schuett, Operator of 5 ALF's, License Revoked!

Scott Schuett: Operator of Peninsula Assisted Living Homes Fights for License

Newport News Assisted Living Facility Closes

Woman arrested for malicious wounding in Newport News retirement home incident

Man Charged in Assulting Woman, 92, in Suffolk

Injury Leads to More Scrutiny for Suffolk Home

Assisted Living Concerns: Facility Resident Tried to Enter Home

Board Alleges Improper Care at Adultcare Homes

State Suspends Assisted-Living Facility Administrator's Licenses

Check the License Status of Any Facility Through the Virginia Department of Social Services Website


Thelma said...

Citizens depend on government to assure their safety in these facilities. That's why it's so important that they stay on them!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much to NASGA for publicizing the deplorable conditions in these dangerous, filthy facilities. Sunshine is the best hope these poor people have. You have probably saved a life.

Rachel said...

It amazes me that so much effort has been put into shutting Schuett's facilities down when there are obviously serious dangers to the residents.

Luis said...

Why is the guy still in business?

Luis said...

Why is the guy still in business?