LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas regulators said Friday they want to find new operators for two nursing homes amid questions about the financial stability of their parent company.
The state Department of Human Services said Office of Long Term Care surveyors have been at the Spring Place Health & Rehab center in Hazen and the Dierks Health & Rehab center since Thursday to ensure proper care. The Hazen center has 39 residents and Dierks has 52. Skyline Health owns them and 19 others across the state.
Craig Cloud, the Department of Human Services’ director of provider services and quality assurance, said patient care was a top priority and that the facilities’ employees needed stability.
“We want to do everything legally possible to make sure everyone’s needs are met,” he said in a statement.
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The agency went to court in Howard and Prairie counties and won permission to operate the homes until another operator could be brought in. An affidavit said both facilities were running low on food and lacked the means to obtain more this week.
At Hazen, “they attempted to purchase food using a Skyline-issued credit card, but the card was refused for insufficient funds,” nursing home inspector Dianne Fish wrote.
In the Howard County case, Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan said it was appropriate to step in.
“An emergency currently exists within the Dierks nursing home, owned and operated by the defendant, which threatens the health, safety, security and welfare of the facility residents,” he wrote.
DHS says it had been monitoring Skyline since financial problems emerged elsewhere this spring. Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and South Dakota regulators have taken similar steps toward placing facilities in receivership, according to Fish.
A Skyline official in South Dakota said this week the company was moving on toward receivership there. There was no answer Friday at Skyline’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey.