Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Nursing home forced to close

32 Lake View Manor residents will have to move

April 15, 2006


State and federal officials have decided to pull the plug on a Lawrence nursing home.

"We're in the beginning-of-the-end stage," Kansas Department on Aging spokeswoman Barb Conant said Friday.

Conant said the owners of Lake View Manor, 3015 W. 31st St., had been mailed and faxed letters, notifying them of the state's intent to revoke their "provider agreement" on May 3.

Without the agreement, Lake View will not eligible for Medicaid payments, its main source of income.

Most of the home's 32 residents are poor. Their stays are paid by Medicaid.

Residents will have 30 days after May 3 to find other living arrangements.

"The Department on Aging will be working closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure a smooth and safe transition for the residents and their families. They are our first priority," Conant said.

Lake View is owned by Charles K. Pomeroy and his parents, Charles P. and Lurene Pomeroy, of Topeka.

Repeated attempts to reach Charles K. Pomeroy for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

A Journal-World request to meet with residents or family members was denied.

A Lake View employee who asked not to be identified said Pomeroy had not notified residents, family members or day-shift employees of the pending closure.

"He hasn't told anybody anything," said the employee. "That's his style. Everything's a big secret. We know nothing."

Lake View administrator Stephen Dunkin is thought to have left the facility last week. His position remains vacant.

"I got a call earlier this week from the Kansas Association of Health Care Executives, saying Lake View was in desperate need of an administrator," said Michael Warren, who was Lake View's administrator from September to November 2004.

Warren said he left Lake View after Pomeroy, who is not a licensed nursing home administrator, refused to relinquish control of the nursing home's daily operations.

"Mr. Pomeroy totally ran the facility the way he wanted to run it - without any input from the administrator," Warren said.

"When I was there, we weren't in that bad of shape. We were providing adequate care," Warren said. "We were getting better, but we couldn't keep good people in key positions because of Mr. Pomeroy's interference."

Among the worst

Last year, Lake View was declared one of the three worst nursing homes in Kansas by Kansas Advocates for Better Care and subjected to inspections every six months rather than every year.

The nursing home failed a five-day inspection in mid-February and, in keeping with state and federal procedures, was given a chance to correct its shortcomings. State inspectors returned April 6.

"Thirty-eight deficiencies were cited during the February visit," Conant said. "During the April 6 revisit, it was established that 22 of the 38 deficiencies had not been corrected and there were four new ones."

Past deficiencies have included poor care, faulty recordkeeping, inadequate staffing and inadequate efforts to prevent bedsores.

A federal review of Lake View's record between Jan. 1, 2004, and April 6, 2006, found that Lake View was "out of substantial compliance" two out of every three months, Conant said.

Asked whether the Department on Aging had cut Pomeroy too much slack, Conant replied: "For every time they were out of substantial compliance, they'd come back in. And then, with the next survey, they'd be out of compliance again or we'd get a complaint.

"You want to give them every opportunity to be in compliance because you don't want to upset the residents and their family members. You don't want to have to make them move," she said. "You hope that at some point, everything will straighten out. But in this case, it obviously didn't."

Help with move

The closing is expected to be difficult for residents.

"The harsh reality is that a lot of these folks won't survive the move," Warren said. "It's a very serious situation for them."

The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman's office is expected to help residents find other homes.

"Someone from this office will get a list of resident and family members' names, and there will be a meeting," said Deborah Merrill, whose last day as head of the ombudsman's office was Friday. "We'll meet with each one individually. We have a list of openings in other facilities, and we'll inform them of their rights."

Merrill encouraged family members to call the ombudsman's office toll-free at (877) 662-8362 with any questions.

Merrill's replacement, Gilbert Cruz, a licensed nursing home administrator from Garden City, starts Monday.

Deanne Bacco, executive director at the Lawrence-based Kansas Advocates for Better Care, encouraged family members not to blame state officials for Lake View's troubles.

"It's too bad it had to come to this, but this has been going on way too long," Bacco said. "This is a facility that's been given more than ample opportunity to get its act together and it hasn't.

"That's a big disservice to the people who live there."

Lake View Manor, 3015 W. 31st St.

Lake View Manor, 3015 W. 31st St.


babydo 12 years ago

It's about time. I've watched this nursing home get away with too much for too many years.The residents deserve better! Close it down and turn the building into something useful for our community!

lilhaileyscomet 12 years ago

All I have to say is like babydo said, its about time. I worked at the hospital for 3 years and many of our "frequent flyers" were from there. Everytime they came in they had bed sores, smelled really bad and could tell that they were not taken care of. I have been saying for the last 3 years atleast that they needed to be shut down. It is just sad that these elderly people have to pay the price for someone not wanting to do their job. They deserve the best care possible, and are not getting it. My friend also worked there for a while, and said that they were short staffed all the time, and always had bedsores. She did her best to take care of them the best she could, but when no one else was it made it hard for her. Thats why she does not work there now.

bambam 12 years ago

they cant do what ever they want with the building as the owners still own it and the business its to bad they have to move but their care is the most important thing and the owners have had more chances to correct thing than they should have gotten they care nothing for the residents just the money their pocketing for them they ought to be sued for neglect.

badger 12 years ago

It's terribly sad.

These poor people, alone and unable to stick up for themselves. I hope they end up in facilities that give them better care. And I hope those responsible for the standards of care at Lake View someday understand just what it's like to be alone at the end of your life, and dependent upon the ethics and professionalism of others for your daily care, and I hope it's brought home to them just how much pain and suffering they have brought to their patients, and just how many nurses and care providers they've put in the position of either abandoning their patients or continuing to knowingly provide them substandard care.

It may be uncharitable to wish them ill, but I hope that karma is swift and fully just for those responsible for what was done to these patients and the environment that prevailed at this facility.

citykittie 12 years ago

It appears that the Pomeroy family found it more important to provide a place for thier son to stay out of thier hair rather than provide an acceptable place for the elderly to live. How is it that the rules governing a nursing home allowed an attorney disbarred for exploitation of an elderly client to live on site of a nursing home. The home has not been receiving Medicare reinbursement for a long time, will the discontinuation of Medicaid payments stop them? Shame on the owners for disgracing the proud Pomeroy name.

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