Nursing Home Closing Under Pressure From State

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

As Bill Hall and his wife Pam load his mother's things into the family van, he laments the closing of a facility where she lived for a year and a half.

"Lot of good aides here, lots of hugs, lots of tears," Hall says.

The violations the home is accused of by the state he says weren't problems he recognized. Their yearly inspection in May turned up "immediate jeopardy" citations--problems the state says put patients in danger. They included smoking in non-designated areas, problems with bedsores, and a lack of a plan to dispense medication.

"The average number of citations for a nursing home in the state is anywhere from 6 to 8," Department of Community Health spokesperson T.J. Bucholz says. "Tendercare South had, over the course of inspections, roughly 3 times the state average."

The department conducted follow-up inspections but did not find the improvement good enough. The state moved in September to ask the federal government to pull funding for medicare and medicaid.

Tendercare disagrees with the scope and severity of the violations, but a spokesperson says they tried to fix things.

"We were working with the state," Tendercare VP of Market Development Paul Stavros told us by phone. "I have no doubt if we were given opportunity, we would have fixed the problems.

They are now voluntarily working with a government team to move all of the 80 patients here. Some are going to Tendercare West across town. Stavros calls them lucky, and the state confirms they have a far cleaner bill with inspectors.


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  • by benjamin Location: lansing on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:26 AM
    The Healthcare Association of Michigan has made reference that the federally mandated closure of Tendercare South is a result of "Employee Error, NOT mismanagement by Tendercare." Not only is this comment offensive to me, but I can't imagine the hurt of many employees who remain in the facility working with state and corporate employees to ease the transition for the residents and their families. If you investigate, you will find that Tendercare Inc. has more corporate employees than any other long-term care provider in Michigan. The corporation is micro-managed to the point that even having a dozen corporate employees in the building at the time of their 2nd re-visit, wasn't enough to bring the facility into compliance. Tendercare Inc. has a history of cutting staff to dangerous levels, while continuing to finance enough corporate employees to fill the resident capacity of Tendercare South. Put the resources into care to the residents, not corporate employees to rule behind a desk!
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