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A Georgetown nursing home was added in September to a list of poorly performing facilities. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

A nursing home and rehabilitation center in Georgetown was named to a list maintained by the federal government of poorly performing facilities.

Blue Ridge in Georgetown joined four other nursing homes in the Palmetto State as candidates for a federal oversight program. Commander Nursing Center in Florence has been officially flagged for the government to focus on since July.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal office in charge of administering the programs, keeps a list of nursing homes that consistently don’t meet standards and agreed to publicly release a monthly update to that list in June.

The most severe offenders are then designated as Special Focus Facilities. This designation increases the frequency that a nursing home must be inspected and sets guidelines for where and how quickly a facility must improve. Around 400 facilities are designated as SFF candidates at one time. 

Facilities that do not graduate from the SFF program within 18 months risk losing their ability to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Blue Ridge in Georgetown was fined nearly $44,000 for health violations in 2018, records show. The facility received 33 health citations during its last inspection in October 2018.

A facility administrator was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Blue Ridge of Sumter was added to the list of candidates for the SFF program in June. Magnolia Manor in Columbia and The Retreat at Brightwater in Myrtle Beach were added in July. There were no changes to the August list for South Carolina nursing homes, and the three facilities were not upgraded to SFF status in the September update.

The initiative to increase transparency around poorly performing nursing homes began after a bipartisan inquiry from Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican. 

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Contact Conner Mitchell at 843-958-1336. Follow him on Twitter at @ConnerMitchell0.

Conner Mitchell is a Kansas native covering Berkeley and Dorchester counties for The Post and Courier. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and has worked previously at the Kansas City Star, Lawrence Journal-World and Palm Beach Post.