Naples assisted living facility hit with $32K fine for holding former residents’ money

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A Naples assisted living facility (ALF) has been hit with an administrative fine of more than $32,000 for failing to return more than $20,000 in prorated refunds within 45 days to nine former residents who had been discharged from the facility.

Memory Care of Naples must fork over to the residents or their estates a portion of the fine, $10,346, no later than Aug. 30. According to the terms of the Aug. 23 settlement agreement, the largest payment that will be made to a resident or resident’s estate is $2,131. Conversely, the smallest payment to a resident or a resident’s estate is $176.

The fine came after the state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) completed an unannounced complaint survey April 25. During the survey, the ALF’s executive director provided the agency a list of nine residents whose refunds were not paid within the 45-day period.

“The (executive director) said it was out of her hands and she was told that the corporation was going through an audit to get their finances in order and refunded would be paid after that,” reads the June 17 complaint that is attached to the settlement agreement.

According to the complaint, “Resident No. 4” was owed $4,262, “Resident No. 1” was owed $4,234 and “Resident No. 5” was owed $3,946. They were reimbursed by the facility on May 31, according to the documents.

Memory Care of Naples is a 54-bed assessed living facility that specializes in providing care to people with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. It is wholly owned by MCA Naples Operating Company LLC.

Florida law requires the agency to impose a fine on facilities that don’t provide a prorated refund within 45 days of a resident’s transfer, discharge or death. The law requires the agency to find the facility triple the amount owed the resident or the resident’s estate.

AHCA initially was going to level a more than $62,000 fine for failing to reimburse the residents. The amount was reduced to $32,074, according to the Aug. 23 settlement agreement.

And while the law requires that half of the fine be submitted to the former resident or their estate, the AHCA final order mandates that $10,346 be distributed among and remitted to the nine former residents or their estates no later than Aug. 30.

Memory Care of Naples has until the middle of November to remit the rest of the administrative fine to the state. The money will be deposited into a trust fund that generally is used to cover regulatory costs.

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