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State lowers rating for assisted living home where two wandered away

The state has updated ratings for a Harnett County nursing home where two patients have walked away earlier this year.

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ANGIER, N.C. — The state has updated ratings for a Harnett County assisted living home where two patients  walked away earlier this year.

The disappearance of Annie Langley, 62, in September marked the second incident in a year at Primrose Villa Retirement Community, 431 Junny Road in Angier. Langley was found safe after a search that lasted more than 24 hours and involved multiple agencies and hundreds of people.

Resident Carrie C. Evans wandered away in February. She fell into a ravine a few blocks from the retirement home and died of a severe head injury, according to an autopsy report. Police said there was no evidence of foul play.

Despite those incidents, two of Primrose Villas' three buildings had three out of four stars on the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation’s Web site.

The state updated the rating Oct. 12. Two of the residences received just one star; a third has zero stars.

Megan Lamphere, with the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services’ Adult Care Licensing, said the star rating system is only designed as a tool for families. It shows an annual inspection snapshot of the facility, and it can take weeks to update ratings after an investigation.

“I do feel like the star rating system is very reliable for the public,” Lamphere said.

When asked why the Web site cannot place a asterisk or “investigation pending” next to a facility’s name on the Web site, Lamphere said each company has a right to due process.

State law requires that star ratings be updated within 45 days after an investigation is complete. DHHS leaders say North Carolina’s star ratings are updated, on average, every 18 days.

Questions about star ratings can be e-mailed to DHSR.AdultCare.Star@lists.ncmail.net. For further assistance, contact the Star Rating Administrator at 919-855-3765, or toll-free at 1-800-662-7030.