SEIU disputes "independence" of ManorCare quality committee

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The Service Employees International Union has called into question the independence of HCR ManorCare's recently formed panel of quality advisers.

The nursing home chain, which was acquired by The Carlyle Group earlier this year, announced the formation of the panel last week. The panel, whose task is to inform Carlyle on issues of quality of care, comprises Vincent Mor, Ph.D., Robyn Stone, Dr.P.H., and Gail Wilensky, Ph.D. Wilensky served on the ManorCare Board of Directors as recently as last year. She also served as the vice chair of the Maryland Health Care Commission, an organization that was instrumental in the completion of the Carlyle takeover bid, according to the SEIU.

Wilensky also owned ManorCare stock, and therefore benefited from the ManorCare buyout, the newsletter said. The SEIU criticizes Carlyle and ManorCare for not revealing this information in the release announcing the panel's formation. That failure calls into question the panel's ability to maintain independence from the company, the SEIU said.

The formation of this committee has been in the process for several months and was part of government and regulatory documents filed to support the transaction, according to ManorCare spokesman Rick Rump. The decision to create the panel was part of ongoing initiatives to improve quality, he said.

For more on the SEIU's views of the ManorCare buyout, visit http://carlylefixmanorcarenow.org/.
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