Recent Nursing Home Crisis Will Lead To Policy Discussions

May 20, 2015

A Montana company called Health Management Services will step in and take over operations of a nursing home in Saratoga that was slated to shut down. 

The Deseret Health group had planned to close the nursing home in Saratoga and another one in Rock Springs that was sold last week. Both facilities will remain open after the Wyoming Department of Health stepped in and brokered the deals for both facilities. 

Department spokeswoman Kim Deti said the Saratoga facility only has eleven residents remaining and the state will help the company as it tries to repopulate the nursing home.

“We’ll be providing a higher level of Medicaid reimbursement for their residents who are Medicaid clients and that is intended to help them through this transition period while they perhaps have a lower number or residents or a lower census as they call it.”

Deti said it was a stressful time for the Department as it tried to protect the health and safety of the residents. She added that it will lead to future conversations.

“We’ve never encountered this before where the health department really had to go in and assume temporary management of a nursing home due to such financial distress of an operator. We’re gonna look at it and learn lessons from it as we should, but there’s also perhaps some larger discussions that are really better handled and directed by our policy makers.”

Deti said those discussions will address what role the state should take in regulating private companies such as nursing home providers.