Louisiana revokes 7 nursing home licenses after 800+ patients evacuated to warehouse

The Louisiana Department of Health has revoked seven nursing home licenses and terminated their Medicaid provider agreements after the owner evacuated more than 800 residents to a warehouse where at least four residents died, the health department said Sept. 7.

The seven nursing homes are:

  • River Palms Nursing and Rehab in Orleans Parish
  • South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab in Lafourche Parish
  • Maison Orleans Healthcare Center in Orleans Parish
  • Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home in Jefferson Parish
  • West Jefferson Health Care Center in Jefferson Parish
  • Maison De Ville Nursing Home in Terrebonne Parish
  • Maison Deville Nursing Home of Harvey in Jefferson Parish

The action comes three days after the department ordered the immediate but temporary closure of the seven homes, all owned by Bob Dean. All the facilities are currently empty.

Two days before Hurricane Ida hit land, Mr. Dean evacuated hundreds of residents to a warehouse. 

"The buildings were beginning to smell strongly of urine and dampness, masking was all but eliminated among the residents, and temperatures were beginning to rise; however, still no request came from the facility or site," the state health department wrote about its Aug. 30 visit. "The facility's very own staff even understood the gravity of the situation and felt that staff and residents were being neglected."

In total, seven residents have died so far, and dozens more have been hospitalized.

During a health department inspection — in which the team was kicked off-site by Mr. Dean, preventing the inspection from being completed — "notations were made that some patients had expired." Officials then decided that all residents needed to be relocated to safer facilities.

Officials cited eight failures by nursing home administrators: cruelty or indifference to the welfare of residents, failure to comply with rules for nursing homes, failure to protect residents from harmful acts of employees, failure to notify the proper authorities of suspected cases of neglect, knowingly making false statements while under investigation, failure to comply with reporting requirements, failure to allow the department to investigate and failure to allow access to records.

The revocations can be appealed within 30 days.

The health department previously had approved Mr. Dean's evacuation plans, which said he planned to house up to 700 residents in the "alternate care facility." According to an LDH spokesperson, "from a facility standpoint, the minimum necessary components to provide a safe sheltering environment for a very short period of time were met." 

Four family members of evacuated residents filed a lawsuit Sept. 6 against Mr. Dean, The Times-Picayune reported.

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