Lake County home health care agency faces closure end of April, investigators say

by: Mike Manzoni Updated:

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County home health care agency could be shut down by the end of the month, state officials told Channel 9’s Mike Manzoni.

State investigators said BrightStar of Lake County on South Fifth Street in Leesburg continues to ignore an emergency order to stop treating patients. State investigators said that workers at the agency are putting their patients in danger by continuing to operate.

Eyewitness News uncovered in February that workers at the facility were accused of treating patients without a doctor’s order, so the state issued an emergency order to halt care on patients.

State investigators issued another order in the last 24 hours that determined the agency ignored the state’s orders.

The most recent order said the state found out this week that "five patients continue to receive skilled nursing care [including two] without physician's orders.

The order also said the "director of nursing continues to believe a referral from the respondent's corporate parent … sufficed for required physician's orders…."

The agency's owner did not respond to Eyewitness News calls for comment.

Since the agency hasn’t followed the state’s orders, the facility could be forced to shut down in 10 years, officials said.