More than three months afterwards a Springfield nursing home bankrupt with little warning, abounding families and above patients of Oak Terrace Healthcare Center are cat-and-mouse for refunds and apprehensive why they were put through such stress.
Oak Terrace’s two best contempo administrators blame Home Life Companies, the Delaware, Ohio-based business whose top admiral fabricated all the key decisions involving Oak Terrace, for what they say was the company’s greed, benightedness and abridgement of vision.
“The association — they didn’t accept any absorption in them except as a antecedent of revenue,” above Oak Terrace ambassador Tom Mullins told The Accompaniment Journal-Register.’
Mullins, 71, an Oreana citizen and longtime Illinois nursing home administrator, said Oak Terrace never paid him the $6,559 he was owed for his 17 canicule of assignment in August and September.
A advocate apery the bound accountability association formed by Home Life in 2016 to accomplish Oak Terrace — a for-profit nursing home that opened about 40 years ago at 1750 W. Washington St. — wouldn’t animadversion on the above employees’ allegations.
But Evans Schmidt said a abridgement of Medicaid payments from the accompaniment of Illinois was the capital acumen for the 78-bed nursing home’s banking problems.
“The accompaniment of Illinois did not pay what they owed the facility,” said Schmidt, a New Orleans-based advocate apery Home Life at Oak Terrace LLC.
Schmidt said the accompaniment owed Oak Terrace about $300,000 for the affliction of Medicaid patients. If that money were paid, the vendors and others owed money by Oak Terrace, including Mullins, would be paid, he said.
But he accustomed that the facility’s authorization holder and above operator, Kelly Smith of Overland Park, Kansas, owed provider assessments — or “bed taxes”— to the accompaniment afore Home Life at Oak Terrace took over active the ability in August 2016.
Smith additionally owed money to the IRS, allegedly for bulk taxes on agent income, Schmidt said.
Smith couldn’t be accomplished for animadversion and hasn’t responded to requests for comment.
One assignment from the Oak Terrace situation may be that families should investigate a abiding affliction facility’s affairs as abundant as possible, and ask questions aback they see affirmation of problems such as abandoned halls, said Megan Jizmagian, the Springfield-based bounded abiding affliction ombudsman.
But families analytic for an adapted atom for a admired one, and alike advocates such as the ombudsman’s office, can be fooled, she said. For example, Oak Terrace had an account for abandoned spaces, she said.
“We were consistently told they were adjustment so they weren’t bushing those apartment up,” Jizmagian said.
Documents detail ascent bills
A acknowledged certificate filed by Oak Terrace in aboriginal September says acknowledged entities associated with the nursing home owe the accompaniment bed taxes accretion added than $430,000. The ability additionally owed $175,485 to the Illinois Administration of Acquirement and $1.3 actor to the IRS, according to the document.
John Hoffman, agent for the Illinois Administration of Healthcare and Family Services, said Oak Terrace, which enrolled as a Medicaid provider in December 2015, still owes the accompaniment about $730,000 in bed taxes activity aback to budgetary 2012.
Bed taxes are acclimated by the accompaniment in a complicated adjustment with the federal government to leverage more federal Medicaid funds for Illinois, but all nursing homes, alike those with few or no Medicaid patients, charge pay the taxes.
Healthcare and Family Services subtracted and bedeviled $62,513 in bed taxes from Oak Terrace’s Medicaid reimbursements for October 2016 through December 2016, Hoffman said.
Because of the ample bulk of bed taxes owed and money actuality clawed aback by the accompaniment from Medicaid reimbursements, Oak Terrace never accustomed any Medicaid payments, Hoffman said.
The accompaniment Administration of Acquirement has filed $79,570 in liens adjoin the Oak Terrace acreage for contributed debts extending to 2014, administration agent Terry Horstman said.
Mullins said he isn’t annoyed with Oak Terrace’s finger-pointing and claims of poverty.
Home Life Companies, which says on its website that it manages abiding affliction communities in several states, mostly in the Midwest and South, could alteration money from its address to pay him and vendors, Mullins said.
Mullins said he started assignment Aug. 22, and it was bright at that time that the ability would be closing soon.
But in emails with Mullins and others, Home Life’s admiral and arch controlling officer, Donald Rankey Jr., fabricated it bright that he didn’t appetite association and agents to apperceive about the situation, Mullins said.
Mullins said he believes one acumen for the clandestineness was that Rankey capital Oak Terrace patients and families who paid a for admired ones’ care to abide their payments for the abounding ages of September afore they activate out about the approaching closure.
Many families of association accept complained that they haven’t accustomed refunds from Oak Terrace for the blow of September, according to Jizmagian, the ombudsman.
All of the nursing home’s added advisers accept been paid, Mullins said, but abounding vendors haven’t been paid.
The Illinois Administration of Public Health fined Oak Terrace $1,100 for actionable the Illinois law acute accessories to accord association and accompaniment and bounded admiral at atomic 60 days’ apprehension afore closing.
But the administration hasn’t been able to aggregate the fine, IDPH backer Melaney Arnold said.
David Mabry, who was ambassador from January until backward August, aback Mullins took over, said he accomplished Oak Terrace wasn’t appropriately announcement Medicaid aback he accustomed in January. He adapted that situation, he said.
About 45 association were accepting affliction at Oak Terrace in January, and that cardinal steadily declined, Mabry said.
“There were so abounding things that bare to be anchored in the building, it was incredible,” said Mabry, 47, a Springfield citizen who is certified as a nursing home ambassador and accountant applied nurse.
Home Life wasn’t accustomed with Illinois regulations and wouldn’t chargeless up money bare for renovations to accomplish the home added adorable to barter in the aggressive apple of abiding care, Mabry said.
An absolute alley of accommodating apartment was empty, he said.
Mabry accepted the efforts of the agents to accommodate acceptable care. Afterwards abounding arresting communications with Home Life over spending, he said he accommodated afterwards he was instructed to activate appointment Medicaid patients to added nursing homes and abate staffing levels.
“That’s actionable and unethical,” Mabry said. “That was apparently the best money-focused aggregation I accept anytime encountered.”
Mullins said he, too, banned to acquittal Medicaid patients to cut costs. And he said he was appreciative of the assignment he did to ensure that all actual association were cautiously transferred to added accessories afore staffing levels alone to alarming levels and the ability ran out of food.
“I accept no abstraction why they didn’t pay me,” he said. “I did what I was beatific there to do. … The alone one who didn’t do his job was Don Rankey. … I anticipate I did a account for the association and families, because it could accept been a catastrophe.”
Chuck Schaefer, chief acclaim administrator for Martin Bros. Distributing, said Oak Terrace never paid the Iowa-based aggregation $24,014 for three months’ account of aliment — enough to feed patients through the closure.
Springfield citizen Joni Bugett, 62, whose husband, Larry, 65, larboard Oak Terrace on the facility’s aftermost day for a atom at Springfield Supportive Living, 2034 E. Bright Lake Ave., said she was told by Oak Terrace agents about the adjustment in May aback her bedmate confused in.
“How are you not activity to accept them?” she asked.
Contact Administrator Olsen: [email protected], 788-1543, twitter.com/DeanOlsenSJR.
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