Judge Rules Against Blossom South

Judge Rules Against Blossom South

Blossom South's days may be numbered.
Blossom South's days may be numbered. 

In an 18-page decision, a federal judge ruled against the Monroe Avenue facility, allowing the government to terminate its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement. Without those payments, the nursing home would be force to close. Nearly 120 people live at Blossom South. Some residents say they like it there.

""I want Albany to understand this is our home, we live here. I personally enjoy myself here," Barbara Maxwell said.

But others do not. Jacqueline Sogunro-Pitan's father lives at Blossom South. 

"Every time that I have been here it's like walking through a dirty diaper," she said.

But lawyers for Blossom South say the nursing home has worked hard to address concerns first raised by the State Health Department. While they fight their case in court, lawyers say staff performance and care continue to improve. If Blossom South loses the appeal, it will be stripped of its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement.

"That could be really significant because Medicaid is definitely one of the main payer sources for people that live in nursing homes. So it absolutely could impact a facility," LifeSpan program director Alana Russell said.

Should Blossom South lose the case, residents will be left looking for new homes. LifeSpan will step in to help.

"Here at LifeSpan there is a department called Elder Source. They are essentially the information referral specialists and I would definitely be encouraging people to call Elder Source, in which they can obtain a list of other local nursing homes so they know what their options are," Russell said.

People like Jacqueline just want the best care possible. 

"There is nothing that has changed that I've seen; nothing that is apparent," she said.

For now, it is wait-and-see. The appeals process could take six months to a year. Residents will have options if Blossom South should close. There are 46 nursing homes in Monroe County. According to the latest available numbers, nearly 500 beds are available. 

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