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Local group raises concerns about Champaign County Nursing Home's potential buyer

After conducting more than 60 hours of research from the Illinois Department of Health, the group said the bidder had hundreds of violations with its other nursing homes. (WCCU)

The Champaign County Board will vote on whether or not to sell the Champaign county nursing home Thursday, but one local group is raising concerns about the potential buyer.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers said the bidder has several violations at its other owned-homes including in Illinois and Indiana.

"We are working to protect the health of the community and the assets that belong to the county residents,” executive director of Champaign County Health Care Consumers, Claudia Lennhoff said.

The county nursing home has a joint bid between Extended Care Clinical and Altitude Health Services -- both owned by “Avi” William Rothner. Champaign County Health Care Consumers said they aren't against selling the nursing home.

“What we are saying is not to sell it to this bidder,” Lennhoff said.

After conducting more than 60 hours of research from the Illinois Department of Health, the group said the bidder had hundreds of violations with its other nursing homes.

"October 27, 2017 the facility failed to respond to a patient's medication request,” Libeth Rosas of Champaign County Health Care Consumers said as she was reading the list of violations during Wednesday’s press conference.

The group said other reports included nursing home closures, neglect and failure to observe residents and failure to follow CPR policies.

"Some of the nursing homes had Medicare and Medicaid payments suspended and that's a result of violations that effect quality of care,” Lennhoff said.

Fox Champaign reached out to the CEO of Extended Care Clinical, Ron Nunziato said, there are a lot of “inaccuracies” in some of those reports -- adding that “the company strives to meet regulatory requirements in all facets of its operation.”

The county health care consumers still want community members to pressure the county board members.

"Please ask your board members to slow down and not rush into the sale of the nursing home to this buyer,” Adani Sanchez of Champaign County Health Care Consumers said. “There are other promising developments in progress for the nursing home and it should be allowed some time to flourish.”

In a statement, Champaign county board member Jack Anderson said:

"The Champaign County Health Care Consumers is engaged in a last minute desperate attempt to sway public opinion using disinformation.

Months ago the Champaign County Board put out a request for proposal (RFP) for potential buyers to bid on the purchase of the County nursing home. The County received one responsive bid that was carefully evaluated by a committee, among who’s members were Ms. Lennhoff, Director of Health Care Consumers. Ms. Lennhoff voted along with the others to move the buyer as “meeting the requirements” of the RFP to the full County Board. I’m confused by her contradictory position on the buyer. If the buyer is such a poor quality nursing home operator then was Ms. Lennhoff wrong then or is she wrong now? I appreciate Ms. Lennhoff’s passion regarding the nursing home, but the financial crisis the home is causing must be stopped. After years of discussion and study by the Board the only plausible and achievable solution to keep the nursing home open to the public is to sell it to a profession private operator with a history of success in a very competitive and difficult business."

To learn more information about the CCHCC report click here.


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