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Second Florida Pediatric Nursing Home Closes Amid Controversy

A Tampa nursing home, which was accused of failing to provide meaningful activities to the severely disabled kids who lived there, was denied funding from Medicare and Medicaid.

Lakeshore Villas is the second pediatric nursing home to close this year amid controversy over the warehousing of frail children. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will cease payments to the nursing home on July 13.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also informed the home that the state would not renew its license, based on the history of the facility.

The home's administrator said Lakeshore will close its doors Aug. 12.

Since 2010, Lakeshore Villas has been on the state's worst nursing homes. The Tampa home had been given 14 severe deficiencies by the healthcare agency, including four that documented actual harm to residents. The home has also been fined five times by the state since 2007.

Lakeshore Villas was one of the six nursing homes in the state that accepted pediatric patients, and was thrust into the spotlight when the U.S. Justice Department civil rights division accused the state of cutting services for medically frail children that many families had no choice but to institutionalize their children in nursing homes.

Lakeshore was found to fail to provide meaningful, chronological age and developmentally appropriate structured activities for children.

Lakeshore was also fined $225,837 in 2011 when an 83-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by another resident. The 83-year-old suffered from blindness, senile dementia and muscle weakness. The home also failed to call police after the assault.

The nursing home will remain operational until all residents have been safely transitioned to alternate settings.

Golden Glades Nursing & Rehabilitation closed its pediatric wing earlier this year amid similar regulatory scrutiny.

As our population ages, nursing home neglect and abuse is becoming a serious problem in Florida. As a society, we should not tolerate mistreatment of the elderly in facilities that are designed to care for them.

If you or your parent has experienced bed sores, fractures, fall injuries, malnutrition, dehydration, physical or sexual abuse, or neglect in a nursing home facility, call the personal injury lawyers at the Miami-Dade law firm of Freidin Brown, P.A.

For more information, contact us.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Troubled Tampa nursing home loses funding, will close," July 9, 2013

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