WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The State of Ohio has recommended the closure of Cedarcreek Healthcare and Rehab in Warren, saying the nursing home continues to place residents in danger.
The state Department of Health recommended the remaining residents — less than 20 — be relocated to other homes over the next 30 days, and the nursing home be taken out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs by February 18.
The Area Agency on Aging District 11, Inc. is helping with that process, and half of the residents have already left.
“We have ombudsmen who are able to assist people in getting to the location that they’ve chosen. They will continue to assist people in getting the care that they need,” said Lisa Solley, chief of community relations, wellness and training at Area Agency on Aging 11.
However, Monday at 1 p.m., U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tennessee is considering issuing an emergency order that would bar transfers of patients out of Cedarcreek and any other nursing home owned by New Beginnings Care. If the company gets its way in court, those remaining at Cedarcreek would have to stay put, which Solley says goes against normal procedure.
Earlier in January, New Beginnings, operator of more than a dozen nursing homes around the country, filed for bankruptcy. That filing came after widespread allegations of neglect and low standards of safety and care. The company was hit with more than $100,000 in fines and saw at least four of its nursing homes closed last year, including Campus Health in Liberty.
The U.S. Attorney in Tennessee says New Beginnings Care is trying to use bankruptcy court as “a haven for wrongdoers,” by trying to force Medicaid to keep patients in its squalid homes.
The Department of Medicaid is refusing to pay the company for residents in several nursing homes, including in Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio.
27 First News has reached out to New Beginnings multiple times, but company representatives have not returned phone calls or emails. The company’s attorney did say, in court documents, that the problems experienced in the nursing homes were minor.
“Debtors have operated their nursing homes in a conscientious and lawful manner…. (the) Employees are dedicated to the welfare and well being of (the) nursing home residents,” documents said.
The judge has not made a ruling on the order yet.