In a letter dated Nov. 13, 2012, the Department of Health (HEALTH) approved a change in control of the former Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehab facility. Genesis HealthCare LLC of Pennsylvania, the same company that currently owns and operates Kent Regency and the Greenwood Center, will now control the facility.
Before Genesis can re-open the doors of the now vacant rehab center, HEALTH will require a letter of intent from Genesis, as well as a plan for startup. HEALTH may also require an on-site inspection since the building has been vacant since May.
The closure of the facility came after a series of non-compliance orders from HEALTH, as well as individual complaints from patients’ families. The center voluntarily closed in April and found new homes for the 78 patients that resided there at the time.
Sisters Betty Marquis and Deborah Norman, said their father Thomas Norman, were neglected while under the care of Pawtuxet Village. They started an online petition last year against the facility that garnered hundreds of signatures. They also considered filing a class action lawsuit against the nursing home.
At around the same time, HEALTH issued a cease and desist order to the facility, which prompted the center to stop admission of new patients in light of new problems discovered by HEALTH. Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehab’s non-compliance orders date back to 2007.
As word began to spread about the facility’s injunctions, residents and their families began to clamor both for and against the facility’s quality of care. HEALTH then declared their intent to revoke the center’s license in March, which was the nail in the coffin for the now defunct facility.
Ultimately the facility chose to close voluntarily, which ensured that the licensure of the building’s 130 beds would not be revoked. Should the facility have lost the license, the city would have also lost a nursing home – there is a decade-old moratorium that prohibits the licensure of new beds in Rhode Island.
In August, HEALTH announced that Genesis HealthCare was involved in a merger with SunHealth, the former owner of the Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehab. At the time, Ray Rusin, chair of the Office of Facilities Management at HEALTH, said Genesis had made it clear that they intended to include the Pawtuxet Village center in their merger. As of late last summer, the application was still being processed.
In early December, Genesis announced on their website that the acquisition of SunHealth was complete – the letter from HEALTH approving their acquisition of SunHealth’s local facilities was from November.
According to the letter from HEALTH, Genesis must provide a progress report by June 30, 2013 regarding their plans for the re-opening of the facility. They are also required to have the facility up and running by Dec. 31, 2014 or otherwise forfeit their license. They would also have to re-apply for Medicare and Medicaid licenses for the facility. The letter also mentioned Genesis’ acquisition of Greenwood Center, which is currently fully operational and formerly owned by SunHealth as well.