The Bridge at Highland, operated by Signature HealthCare, has agreed to repay $42,102 to Medicaid for items that were not covered, according to an audit by the Tennessee State Comptroller’s Office.
One of the issues addressed in the audit dealt with an error in wastewater expenses. The facility paid for a portion of the wastewater and plant maintenance expenses for Highland Academy, which owns the property the facility leases.
Other items mentioned in the report included both expenses not related to resident care and unsupported expenses which include gift card expenses, marketing expenses, therapy expenses, beverage expenses, and other categories.
The auditor’s comment in regards to expenses not related to resident care stated that those cost should be reasonable that the meals disallowed were either excessive or did not meet the allowability criteria. Undocumented meals at local restaurants with a business purpose were not deemed allowable. The report said that there were many instances when meals had a legitimate business purpose documented and those meals were allowable by the auditors.
The nursing home management stated in the audit that it is not in agreement with the adjustment for expenses not related to resident care and that the expenses in question were not extraordinary or excessive, adding that they are reasonable and for the benefit of its many stakeholders that provide excellent resident care each day.
However, in a statement by Signature HealthCARE to The Portland Sun, the company said that they worked with auditors and agreed to settle the matter by returning the portion of the amounts the state deemed incorrect. They added that they had amended their reporting policies. The facility has also made changes to ensure wastewater expenses are appropriately expensed and paid for by the nursing facility.
According to information in the audit, with the exception of the material non-compliance mentioned, The Bridge at Highland complied with the requirements for income and expenses reported on the Medicaid cost reports for 2012 through 2015, for resident days for the period of July 1, 2014 through 2015, and for resident accounts for the period Nov. 1, 2015 through Oct. 31, 2016.
The scope of the examination does not cover the quality of care or clinical or medical provisions, but rather covers certain financial-related requirements of the Medicaid Nursing Facility contract.
According to the report, the Division of Quality Assurance inspected the quality of the facility’s physical plant, professional staff, and resident services and found that the nursing facility met the required standards.