MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Memphis nursing home with a track record of serious problems is in trouble again. For the second time in two years, Signature Healthcare faces a loss of government funding and patients are being forced to move.
Our cameras caught workers hauling equipment out of Signature Healthcare at Saint Francis Monday.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare confirmed it terminated its contract with the nursing home March 8, and funding will be cut as of Saturday.
That financial loss means the majority of patients have to move and the company laid off more than 200 workers. The facility is also facing fines of more than $270,000 from state and federal regulators, and all new admissions have been suspended.
"To me it's disgusting this has continued and unconscionable."
Brian Lee is a nursing home advocate who runs the group Families for Better Care. He tracks problems and has followed the story of Signature at Saint Francis.
The News Channel 3 Investigators previously uncovered a pattern of problems at the nursing home.
The company almost lost federal funding in 2015 but instead promised change and agreed to a $1.2 million fine. So, this marks the second time in two years the nursing home has faced stiff penalties.
CMS told WREG the nursing home "continues to have a pattern of non-compliance that resulted in actual harm to patients."
"I read through the inspection report, I was absolutely shocked by what I read."
When state regulators visited the nursing home in mid-February, they found multiple violations.
One patient ended up in the emergency room and suffered a stroke.
Records show it took an hour and a half to transport him; a worker even threatened to call 911 herself.
The nursing home sits next to a hospital, but policy meant waiting on an ambulance.
Another patient waited days for pain medicine.
Inspectors also noted incidents like a worker wearing unsterile gloves and another using the same disposable cloth to wipe a patient's genital area.
"The bad behavior can go on for so long before federal or state intervention and residents suffer abuse and neglect when things could have been done at a quicker pace."
CMS said the nursing home will likely stay open with only a few private pay patients.
Signature said it plans to appeal, adding some of the workers affected are being moved to other locations.