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Missing drugs, broken toilets, financial abuse among problems at Peabody nursing home

Wichita Eagle - 12/26/2018

Dec. 26--The state is taking over a Marion County nursing home after an inspection last month found broken and foul-smelling toilets, missing narcotics, financial abuse of residents, and nearly a quarter million dollars in past-due bills that could have left residents without food or medical care.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Timothy Keck filed court papers on Dec. 11 asking for an emergency takeover of Westview Manor of Peabody, a 45-bed adult care home at 500 Peabody in Peabody. The state, in a nine-page petition, cited several deficiencies uncovered by an inspector sent to the facility Nov. 27-29 to investigate two anonymous complaints. The problems listed include:

-- That the nursing home pooled residents' money into one account held at a local bank and didn't give them interest accrued on their savings

-- 16 of 38 residents' trust fund accounts had negative balances on at least one occasion between Jan. 1 and Nov. 27. Several accounts were in the red by hundreds of dollars. One had a negative balance of $1,094.46. Repeated efforts to reconcile the accounts with Westview's corporate office were unsuccessful

-- 119 Hydrocodone tablets prescribed to one resident were missing and unaccounted for

-- There is no evidence that narcotics prescribed to but not used by three other residents were disposed of properly. Those missing medications were 31 Hydrocodone tablets, 34 Tramadol tablets and 101 Oxycodone tablets

-- The nursing home has $240,755.29 in outstanding bills more than four months past due. Because of a more-than $12,000 bill owed, the nursing home's food service vendor requires immediate payment on all new orders. Only one vendor would agree to take housekeeping and cleaning supply orders and the companies that provided staffing and nursing supplies to Westview stopped over past-due balances

-- One staff member reported payroll checks bouncing twice

-- Several broken toilets couldn't be fixed because "there was no money available to buy replacement parts." One in the women's shower room had been broken for months but residents were using it anyway, causing "a foul odor" to linger in the air

-- The inspector saw a 3-foot long, 1-inch high patch of "a black substance" near the base of the shower in the women's shower room

-- Overhead lights were out in the nursing home's entrance, men's hall, dining area and living areas

-- There were broken floor tiles, exposed electrical wires and filth in an old nursing station

State law allows KDADS to take over a nursing home whenever conditions exist that are considered life-threatening or endangering to residents, when the home is deemed insolvent or when its license is revoked.

A takeover of Westview "is appropriate and necessary," court records say, because residents' lives would be endangered if the staff who care for them and the vendors who deliver essential goods and services like food to the facility quit over not getting paid.

Westview Manor is run by Franklin Healthcare of Peabody, which is owned by Julie and Douglas Mittleider. Another company owned by Douglas Mittleider, Altacare Corp., is also involved it the nursing home's day-to-day operation and management, according to court records. Peabody Associates is the licensed owner of the building and real estate.

An attorney representing the Mittleiders and their companies did not immediately return a phone message and email seeking comment on Friday afternoon.

Westview Manor is the latest financially insolvent nursing facility taken over by the state. In an average year, the state takes legal control of one or two. That helps "to ensure the continued care of the residents" living in the homes, KDADS spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said.

But so far this year, the state has stepped in at 22 skilled nursing homes experiencing money troubles. That includes the July takeover of Westview Manor's sister facility, Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center in Great Bend, due to concerns about its ability to pay employees and critical vendors.

"When these facilities are struggling financially, we want to make sure the staff continue to get paid, the vendors get paid, that there's food there," de Rocha said. " . . . So we take them over in receivership action and we begin to look for someone to take that over."

KDADS hadn't yet identified a permanent operator for Westview Manor, de Rocha said Friday by email.

Westview Manor of Peabody received an overall rating of four out of five stars from Nursing Home Compare, which provides information and inspection results for more than 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the U.S. Its most recent health inspection report posted on the site, from March, shows 11 violations.

Over the past three years, four complaints about Westview and one facility-reported issue led to citations. It received no fines or Medicare payment denials during the same time period, Nursing Home Compare says.

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(c)2018 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

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