State agency asks courts for emergency power to take over 15 nursing homes in Kansas

About 845 nursing residents at 15 facilities throughout Kansas are affected by a company that says it cannot pay its employees.
About 845 nursing residents at 15 facilities throughout Kansas are affected by a company that says it cannot pay its employees. TNS

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services is asking 13 district courts for emergency power to take over operations for 15 nursing homes throughout the state, including several in Wyandotte County.

The operator of the nursing homes, New Jersey-based Skyline Health Care, told the state it cannot make upcoming payroll, according to a news release from KDADS.

About 845 residents live in the affected nursing homes.

“Our most pressing concern at this point is stability," said KDADS Secretary Tim Keck in a statement. "We want to ensure the residents of these facilities continue to receive the care they need, and to make sure the staff, which provides that care, continues to be paid."

Mission Health Care — which operates 14 nursing homes in Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin — has agreed to oversee the operation of the Kansas facilities.

“This is a highly unusual situation, but we have identified a nursing home management group that is willing to step in immediately and begin overseeing these facilities. We have discussed the matter with CMS and now are working to get all of the arrangements in place as soon as possible."

Skyline Health Care acquired the Kansas facilities in 2016.

Angela de Rocha, KDADS spokesperson, said that Skyline Health Care has been having trouble paying its vendors recently and owes about $500,000 in bed taxes to the state.

Next week, staff from KDADS and the three managed care organizations that administer Medicaid in Kansas will meet with residents and their families to explain the changes.

The state has taken over operations of a nursing home at least once before, but never to this scale, de Rocha said.

It’s unclear how much the emergency move will cost the state, but approximately 80 percent of the residents are currently covered through Medicaid.

So far, KDADS has received permission from five of the 13 district courts, but the New Jersey company will also have to respond to the court filings.

Skyline’s financial troubles are not just affecting Kansas nursing homes. Last week, the state of Nebraska moved to take over 21 nursing homes across the state. A report by the Omaha World-Herald said employees at those nursing homes had not been paid in weeks but were still trying to provide care to residents.

Here are the affected nursing homes:

  • Chase County Care & Rehabilitation Center in Cottonwood Falls

  • Downs Care & Rehabilitation Center in Downs

  • Edwardsville Care & Rehabilitation Center in Edwardsville

  • El Dorado Care & Rehabilitation Center in El Dorado

  • Eskridge Care & Rehabilitation Center in Eskridge

  • Kaw River Care & Rehabilitation Center in Edwardsville

  • Lansing Care & Rehabilitation Center in Lansing

  • Neodesha Care & Rehabilitation Center in Neodesha

  • Parkway Care & Rehabilitation Center in Edwardsville

  • Pittsburg Care & Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburg

  • Spring Hill Care & Rehabilitation Center in Spring Hill

  • Wakefield Care & Rehabilitation Center in Wakefield

  • Wellington Care & Rehabilitation Center in Wellington

  • Wichita Care & Rehabilitation Center in Wichita

  • Wilson Care & Rehabilitation Center in Wilson