ANDOVER, NJ (Sussex County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Thursday applauded the move by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation II facility, now known as Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center, a notice of termination.
According to CMS, effective June 25, 2022, Andover Subacute’s provider agreement will be terminated. CMS will work with the facility and the State of New Jersey during the transition.
Earlier this year, Gottheimer began publicly pushing for the facility to be immediately shut down, and Gottheimer stated that if the facility cannot properly care for seniors, then it needs to be investigated and revamped or closed.
The move by CMS means that the facility will no longer receive Medicare or Medicaid payments for services furnished to residents. Payments will cease on July 25, allowing the facility adequate time to ensure residents are successfully relocated. The move by CMS comes after a New Jersey Superior Court filing revealed this week that the State moved for a court-appointed receiver to assume control over the facility’s operations as further steps are determined.
In January of this year, Gottheimer asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address conditions at Andover Subacute, as the facility experienced the worst COVID-19 omicron outbreak in New Jersey at the time. Gottheimer requested an update on the facility’s compliance with corrective actions that were supposed to be put in place following the May 2020 CMS inspection.
“After I sounded the alarm earlier this year and pushed for accountability, I’m glad to see that this facility will be closing its doors. I refuse to stand by while Jersey seniors are put at risk,” Gottheimer said. “Families should have confidence that older relatives and veterans will be well cared for in their later years, whether residing in private or state-run long-term care facilities.”
When first contacted about issues at the Andover facility in early April 2020, Gottheimer continued to request coordination, action, and resources from the State of New Jersey, FEMA, and the federal government to address COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities in North Jersey. Gottheimer was also in regular contact with NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli and with the Governor’s office regarding the crisis at the Andover facility.
During the height of the 2020 crisis, a police inspection of the Andover Subacute facility found 17 bodies piled in a makeshift morgue.
Gottheimer asked the State and CMS in April 2020 to investigate the Andover facility. The CMS inspection report found that the Andover Subacute II facility was not in substantial compliance with federal requirements, imposed a Civil Money Penalty accruing a total of $220,235, and required the facility to submit a Plan of Correction (PoC) for the deficiencies cited by CMS.
In April 2020, Gottheimer also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy National Guard and Reserves to assist North Jersey long-term care facilities in need, and he requested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deploy U.S. Public Health Service front-line health care workers. Gottheimer also asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fulfill the State of New Jersey’s request for additional assistance for all long-term care facilities in dire need throughout the State at the time.