More than three months after Oak Terrace Healthcare Center nursing home closed with little warning, many families and former patients are waiting for refunds and wondering why they were put through such stress. Oak Terrace’s two most recent administrators blame Home Life Companies, the Delaware, Ohio-based business whose top officials made all the key decisions involving Oak Terrace, for what they say was the company’s greed, ignorance and lack of vision.
“The residents — they didn’t have any interest in them except as a source of revenue,” former Oak Terrace administrator Tom Mullins told The State Journal-Register.′ Mullins said he isn’t satisfied with Oak Terrace’s finger-pointing and claims of poverty. Home Life Companies, which says on its website that it manages long-term care communities in several states, mostly in the Midwest and South, could transfer money from its headquarters to pay him and vendors, Mullins said.
One lesson from the Oak Terrace situation may be that families should investigate a long-term care facility’s finances as much as possible, and ask questions when they see evidence of problems such as empty halls, said Megan Jizmagian, the Springfield-based regional long-term care ombudsman.
David Mabry, who was administrator from January until late August, when Mullins took over, said he realized Oak Terrace wasn’t properly billing Medicaid when he arrived in January. After many frustrating communications with Home Life over spending, he said he resigned after he was instructed to begin transferring Medicaid patients to other nursing homes and reduce staffing levels. “There were so many things that needed to be fixed in the building, it was incredible,” said Mabry, who is certified as a nursing home administrator and licensed practical nurse.