The Hartford Courant is reporting that the State of Connecticut:
has denied permission for Wethersfield Health Care Center to close, even as the owners of the nursing home have been aggressively publicizing its closure and encouraging its residents to leave. […]
The state Department of Social Services, which regulates nursing homes, told HealthBridge Tuesday night that it was rejecting the closure request because of an incomplete application. […]
Lack of financial information is precisely why the state refused the request. The company fought the state’s requests for financial statements from several companies that are interrelated in the complex corporate structure of the nursing home, saying that information was private and confidential. Ultimately, it said it would allow the state to look at financial statements for one of the entities for four hours, but would not allow the state to retain a copy of the information in its records. [emphasis added]
Just what is HealthBridge hiding? Why won’t it publicly disclose its financial records (or those of its related entities, as the CT Mirror mentions in its coverage)? 1199 members at Wethersfield have been asking these questions, and fighting for months to keep our community’s nursing home open.
In a separate article, the Courant also reported on the immense relief felt by many family members at the State’s decision to deny HealthBridge’s attempt to close:
When Ann Marie Mangiagli remembers how she first placed her daughter Laura Gross at Wethersfield Health Care Center three and a half years ago, tears well up in her eyes.
“She would call me up. She’d be crying, ‘I can’t find my car keys, I have to pick my sons up from school. Ma, you have to come up and get me.'”
But Laura’s sons had been grown for years.
“I just wish I could bring her home again, but I can’t,” said Mangiagli, 77, who took care of her daughter in her Wethersfield home for more than two years. Gross, who is just 58, has had both her mind and body damaged by a mysterious autoimmune disorder.
Witnessing that distress in 2008 is “why I’m so against moving her again,” Mangiagli said.
The State’s recent decision comes one week after the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against HealthBridge for its unlawful lockout and for bad faith bargaining. Reflecting last week on HealthBridge’s troubling relationship with the law, 1199 President David Pickus commented:
Clearly, this is a corporation with no scruples when it comes to violating the law…[and with] a broad pattern of illegal behavior aimed at stripping workers of their rights, dignity and self-sufficiency, all to feed corporate greed. In the HealthBridge world view, workers should live in poverty so one-percenters like Daniel Straus can spend the millions of public dollars he rakes in each year from Medicaid and Medicare on investments like the $95 million of luxury properties in Manhattan he purchased in 2010 from the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.