Five Massachusetts nursing homes owned by troubled operator Skyline Healthcare appear to be in financial disarray, with employees and vendors left unpaid.
The Massachusetts Department of Health said Monday that new patients are no longer being accepted at those facilities in the southeastern part of the state because of “ongoing operational issues.” Paychecks have been late the last two pay periods at Skyline’s Bedford Gardens location, and much of the staff has not shown up since problems first emerged, the New Bedford Standard-Times reported Tuesday.
“Each day that these paychecks don’t clear, who is going to take care of my patients?” said Steven Haase, executive director of the Gardens, who was forced to close the third floor of the facility this week. “It came to the point where I didn’t feel it was safe.”
Wood Ridge, NJ-based Skyline has been plagued by problems in the past year. At least 76 of the company’s SNFs have been placed in receivership across the U.S., with Pennsylvania and Arkansas seizing control of its facilities last summer, McKnight’s has reported. Kansas also enacted a bill this month requiring nursing homes to provide more details about their finances, sparked by Skyline’s struggles. Fifteen of the 22 Kansas SNFs placed into receivership last year were operated by the company.
About 350 employees have been affected by the payroll issues, including the Bedford Village Care & Rehabilitation Center and Rockdale Care & Rehabilitation Center, both in New Bedford, MA; Dighton Care & Rehabilitation Center in Dighton; and Highland Manor Care & Rehabilitation Center in Fall River, according to the Standard-Times.
Skyline’s website was not working Wednesday afternoon and its phone number is disconnected. Investigators with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office reportedly visited the Bedford Gardens on Monday seeking more information about the facility’s financial management.