Arkansas nursing home abruptly shuts down, scrambles to relocate 21 residents

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Horseshoe Bend, Ark.-based South Bend Nursing has activated an emergency plan to relocate 21 residents after a corporate operator said it would no longer operate or provide supplies, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 

Nursing home staff learned Dec. 3 that Atlanta-based Marsh Pointe Management would no longer run the home due to regulatory problems, Amy Smith, RN, South Bend's director of nursing, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 

Ms. Smith said the home hopes to find new placements for residents by Dec. 6. Residents and families choose where they will go, and have the option of a care site partnered with the closing nursing facility.

About 40 employees will lose their jobs, Ms. Smith said, adding that staff hasn't been offered severance. Employees will be paid until the home is closed, but as of Dec. 3, there was no firm closure date or final resident move-out date.

Ms. Smith said Marsh Pointe took over managing the 78-bed home this October after a previous operator had problems paying vendors. However, Marsh Pointe officials told the facility's administrators that the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care denied their application to officially run the property, for reasons unknown to Ms. Smith. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reached out to HHS for confirmation but did not receive an immediate response. 

Since 2017, the nursing home has been fined over $19,000 for violations and is a CMS "special focus facility," meaning it has "serious quality issues." Since October 2018, the home has been inspected three times after complaints, according to government reports cited by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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