Department of Health Services Blocks Purchase of Menlo Park Nursing Home
In an "unusual move," the Department of Health Services on Thursday blocked the purchase of a Menlo Park nursing home, citing 23 previous violations at other nursing homes owned by the prospective buyers, the San Jose Mercury News reports. DHS denied a license application from Prema and Antony Thekkek of Alamo to buy the 160-bed Menlo Park Place Health Care Center because of previous violations that allegedly contributed to the deaths of two patients at the Creekside Convalescent Hospital in Santa Rosa, which also is owned by the Thekkeks. DHS spokesperson Norma Arceo, said, "If they were in compliance, the residents would have gotten the quality of care that they deserved." The Service Employees International Union Local 250, which represents about 90,000 health care workers, in January petitioned the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to approve an urgency ordinance asking state officials to investigate the Thekkeks before they purchased the nursing home. Local 250 President Sal Rosselli said, "The state concluded, as we have been saying, that Prema Thekkek cannot adequately put together a plan to take care of the elderly." Prema Thekkek said that she and her husband were "targets of an overzealous union that is bitter" because not all of the nursing homes owned by the Thekkeks are unionized, the Mercury News reports. SHe did not comment on past violations but said, "All of my buildings are very good. We provide excellent service." DHS has blocked 24 of 521, or 4.6%, nursing home license applications in the past six years (Kuruvila, San Jose Mercury News, 2/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.