Texas' largest nursing home operator in hot water for Hurricane Harvey response

State regulators are investigating Dallas-based Senior Care Centers, the largest nursing home operator in Texas, for a series of alleged care lapses that occurred during Hurricane Harvey, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Here are five things to know.

  1. Senior Care Centers owns nearly 100 care facilities in the state, including 17 in the Dallas area. Texas regulators received 16 complaints about the company's care facilities following the hurricane — the most for any nursing home operator affected by the storm, according to documents obtained by The News.
  2. In one incident, an administrator at a Senior Care nursing home in Port Arthur, Texas, allegedly refused to evacuate patients before the storm. Police had to handcuff the man before they could remove residents from the nursing home, according to a police affidavit. By the time families of residents arrived at the care facility, "they found weary and hungry loved ones with soiled diapers, some with feet in rainwater polluted by human urine and feces," according to The News.
  3. Andrew Kerr, CEO of Senior Care Centers, said the company needed a mandatory evacuation order from the government to activate its contract with an ambulance provider to transport residents. "We could not initiate an evacuation," Mr. Kerr told The News. "It has to be mandated by the authorities."
  1. However, state officials argue nursing homes can move residents out of dangerous situations without mandatory evacuation orders. "It's exactly the opposite," Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which regulates nursing homes in the state, told The News. "Facilities are responsible for keeping the residents they serve safe from harm."
  1. Mr. Kerr said Senior Care Centers is cooperating with state and local investigations.

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