Kansas state government has filed court papers to take over 15 nursing homes across the state — including in Wichita, Wellington and El Dorado — because the owner can't make payroll, officials said Wednesday.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is moving to take over the homes and contract with another operator to try to ensure the quality of care doesn't suffer for 854 elderly and disabled residents who live in the facilities.
"Our most pressing concern at this point is stability," Tim Keck, secretary of KDADS, said in a statement. "We want to ensure the residents of these facilities continue to receive the care they need, and to make sure the staff, which provides that care, continues to be paid.”
All of the care homes are operated under a variant of the name Care and Rehabilitation Center and are owned by a company called Skyline Health Care. Skyline is based in Wood Ridge, N.J., and acquired the Kansas facilities in 2016, according to KDADS.
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On the list locally are the Wichita, Wellington and El Dorado Care and Rehabilitation Centers. The Wichita facility is at 4007 E. Lincoln.
“This is a highly unusual situation, but we have identified a nursing home management group that is willing to step in immediately and begin overseeing these facilities," Keck said.
Mission Health Care, which operates 14 nursing homes in Kansas and four other states, will operate the facilities until a permanent solution is found, KDADS said.
No patients are in immediate danger from the ownership shakeup, said Angela De Rocha, spokeswoman for KDADS.
Skyline's corporate website appeared to be deactivated, and company officials could not be reached for comment.
According to KDADS,the company is believed to be insolvent.
In addition to the local facilities, the situation affects three Care and Rehabilitation Centers in Edwardsville and one each in Cottonwood Falls, Downs, Eskridge, Lansing, Neodesha, Pittsburg, Springfield, Wakefield and Wilson.
Two days ago, Nebraska took over 21 Skyline-owned facilities when the company informed that state it couldn't pay its employees.
De Rocha said the first indications of the company's financial distress came last summer when the agency received reports that Skyline wasn't paying its vendors.
The most recent state inspection of the Wichita facility, on March 12, found no violations of patient-care regulations.
However, state records show the facility did have problems in 2017, including:
▪ Oct. 5: A resident was accidentally given another patient's medicine. The resident was transported to a hospital for observation and treated with Narcan to counteract the incorrectly administered opiod painkillers.
▪ Aug. 22: A resident of the facility left through a window and was found at an intersection 2.7 miles away. The home failed to report that within 24 hours, as required.
▪ Aug. 7: A nurse incorrectly used a Flex Pen injector to give a resident a shot of insulin without clearing air from the device first.
▪ July 3: A resident walked out of an emergency exit at the facility and was found near the street about 150 feet away. The resident's "wander guard" bracelet didn't function properly to alert the staff.
All the violations were cleared and the nursing home was in compliance during an inspection on Dec. 19.