LI facility makes secret federal list of troubled nursing homes

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MEDFORD -

A Long Island nursing home is on a list of hundreds of homes nationwide that were found to have serious ongoing health or safety problems -- and the federal government has kept the list under wraps for years.

Michelle Giamarino's mother, 72-year-old Auriela Rios, died while being treated as a patient at the Medford Multicare Center in 2012. It resulted in criminal charges against employees, guilty pleas, lawsuits and settlements. The facility is now part of a federal program requiring extra scrutiny and more inspections. It's on a list that's available to the public.

According to a U.S. Senate report, there's another, lengthier list of about 400 facilities that also have problems. But senators say that list was kept secret by the federal government for years. One of those places on the list is Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Uniondale.

Patient advocate Ilene Corina says she can't believe that a lack of funding is being used as an excuse by the agency responsible for doing the inspections and maintaining the lists.

A spokesman from the Townhouse Center says: "Our administrators and staff treat every issue and complaint very seriously, and as the information contained in the Senate report is at this time, dated, corrective action has already been taken and completed."

Family members visiting loved ones didn't seem overly concerned about the findings in the Senate report.

News 12 did not hear from Medford Multicare for comment.

There is a website you can check to compare nursing homes that's called Nursing Home Compare. But some advocacy groups say it's confusing and not comprehensive enough.

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