Operator of 15 Nevada nursing homes files for bankruptcy | NevadaAppeal.com

Operator of 15 Nevada nursing homes files for bankruptcy

Associated Press and staff reports

RENO – Two Carson City nursing homes will not be adversely affected by the bankruptcy restructuring of their parent company, Integrated Health Services Inc. of Sparks, Md., an industry representative said Friday.

The company’s bankruptcy filing affects 15 nursing homes in Nevada. Integrated Health Services has obtained a $300 million bank loan to stay in business during reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

“It’s strictly a restructuring at the top and won’t have any impact whatsoever on local operations,” said Elmer “Bud” Rieckhoff, who has been administrator of Carson Convalescent Center at 2898 Highway 50 East since Integrated bought it almost two years ago.

“Our patient care continues to be our top priority,” he said Friday. Rieckhoff said Carson Convelescent currently has 67 residents.

Similar assurances were voiced by Judi Dankenbring, administrator of Intergated’s other facility in Carson City, Sierra Convelescent Center at 201 Koontz Lane.

“Patient care is my first priority and this will have no effect on my residents,” Dankenbring said. She said 107 people reside at the facility.

The company operates six nursing homes in northern Nevada and nine in southern Nevada. It controls 1,850 beds, about 40 percent of the statewide total.

”I don’t think it (bankruptcy) will affect patient care in any way, certainly not in the short term, at least,” said Michael Clark, executive director of the Nevada Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes.

”The worst-case scenario is we would be short a lot of beds if all IHS facilities closed the door. It would be catastrophic, but I don’t see any worst-case scenarios. The state would step in and do something to help out.”

IHS operates nursing homes in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City.

Clark attributed the bankruptcy, filed Wednesday, to Medicaid and Medicare policies set by state and federal lawmakers.

The company is the seventh national provider to file for bankruptcy in the last year.

”The long-term consequences (of the bankruptcy filing) are a little harder to predict mainly because we get such a low reimbursement rate from state Medicaid,” Clark said.

”They do not reimburse us at a rate high enough to cover the cost and these facilities have lost millions of dollars in recent years. We haven’t had a Medicaid reimbursement increase in two years.”

Clark said he thinks IHS will survive the bankruptcy, but may have to sell some facilities.