States spring to action after Skyline misses huge payroll

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services sought emergency powers to take over operations at 15 nursing homes in late March after New Jersey-based Skyline Health Care failed to make payroll.

Earlier in the week, Nebraska sent 31 of Skyline’s nursing and assisted living facilities into receivership, also because of payroll shortcomings.

Mission Health Care, which operates 14 nursing homes of its own in Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin, agreed to oversee the operation of Skyline’s Kansas facilities.

Meanwhile, Omaha-based senior living consultant Klaasmyer & Associates took over management of the Nebraska facilities, which operated under the Cottonwood Healthcare name for Skyline.

Headlines were made April 10, when 1,650 Nebraska employees were finally paid, two weeks after the state stepped in.

The facilities continued to receive Medicaid, Medicare and others’ payments, Klaasmeyer said then. Cottonwood spokesman Michael Kosowski told McKnight’s that the company considered receivership a temporary status and continued to cooperate with the state.

“During the weeks leading up to the receivership, we worked tirelessly to continue to improve the operation of the facilities to better serve our residents and staff; however, issues beyond our control impeded our progress,” he said. “We maintain that since the receiver was appointed, we have done everything in our power to work with the state and temporary receiver to ensure the continued successful operation of the facilities.”

The Nebraska Hospital Association Research and Educational Foundation has committed $100,000 to the cause, with the request that the money go directly to affected employees. In addition, Immanuel Communities, with 11 retirement communities and long-term care facilities in Omaha and Lincoln, contributed $250,000 through its foundation, in the form of $100 gift cards for employees.