Nursing Home Operator Will Not Renew Leases for Two Fresno-Area Facilities
Arkansas-based nursing home operator Beverly Enterprises said that it would not renew its leases for two skilled-nursing facilities it operates in the Fresno area and that the facilities would close in the next several months if new operators are not found, the Fresno Bee reports. Beverly currently leases Valley Care and Guidance Center, which has 62 residents and is one of only a few local facilities that cares for seniors with mental illnesses, and Hy-Pana Healthcare Center, which has 93 residents.
The company has decided not to renew its leases for the centers because of the increasing cost of liability insurance, as well as low Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, according to Beverly Regional Vice President Julianne Vink. Beverly's lease to operate Valley Care and Guidance expires Jan. 1, and the lease for Hy-Pana expires Feb. 28.
Vink said the company would work to find a new operator for the facilities, but if one is not found, there is a "strong possibility" that the centers will close.
Jerry Wengerd, director of the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health, said the closure of Valley Care and Guidance could cause problems because of the lack of facilities capable of caring for nursing home residents with mental illnesses. "It's our major resource locally," Wengerd said.
According to the Bee, 27 patients placed at the facility by the county would be affected by Valley Care and Guidance's closure. County officials are working to find alternate care facilities, but those who cannot be accommodated could be sent out of the area.
Jan Harshman, owner and administrator for Wish-I-Ah Care Center in Auberry, said her facility has room to take two patients from Valley Care and Guidance.
Vink said that Beverly would not close the facilities until all of the patients have been transferred to new facilities (Correa, Fresno Bee, 12/7).