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4 nursing homes in receivership face closure
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4 nursing homes in receivership face closure

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A handful of the more than two dozen elderly care facilities that were taken over by the state last year are likely to close.

Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Leah Bucco-White said the company operating Wausa Care and Rehabilitation Center nursing facility, Sidney Care and Rehabilitation Center nursing and assisted-living facilities, and Sorensen Care and Rehabilitation Center nursing facility in Omaha has requested to close them.

The four were among 21 nursing homes and 10 assisted-living facilities the state was forced to take over in March because of financial problems of their owner, Cottonwood Healthcare, also known as Skyline.

The centers were put into receivership and the state hired Klaasmeyer and Associates to manage them.

Klaasmeyer has sought district court permission to close the four facilities, Bucco-White said. The company cited low resident numbers and poor financial performance as the main reasons for seeking closure of the facilities.

Klaasmeyer said in court filings that the Wausa Care and Rehabilitation Center has averaged only 15 residents on a daily basis since Klaasmeyer took over and the Sidney facilities have averaged only about 30 residents.

At the Sorensen Care and Rehabilitation Center in Omaha, court records show that the 44 residents have already been relocated to other facilities because of problems with uncontrollable water temperatures and potential asbestos contamination.

Hearings are scheduled next month for the district court to rule on the requests. Klaasmeyer has already given the residents 60 days notice of closure as required by federal law. 

Klaasmeyer would be responsible for transferring residents to another facility of their choice, and Health and Human Services would monitor the process.

"Resident safety and well-being have been a top priority throughout the receivership process," Bucco-White said in an email.

According to filings with the Nebraska Department of Labor, 51 employees work at the Sidney facility and 39 at the Wausa facility. Bucco-White said the department is under the understanding that staff at those facilities will have the opportunity to transfer to another facility being managed by Klaasmeyer. 

Skyline ran nursing facilities across the country, and dozens in several states, including Kansas and South Dakota, were also put into receivership when the company ran into problems.

Two of the 19 former Skyline facilities in South Dakota are scheduled to close this month, with their receiver also citing financial concerns as the reason for closing them.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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