Audit sought of nursing home receiver

Tekamah Care and Rehabilitation was among 21 nursing homes and 10 assisted living facilities in Nebraska placed into receivership March 23, 2018. All 31 facilities were owned by Cottonwood Healthcare LLC, known as Skyline, which was headquartered in New Jersey. Receivership was sought when state officials learned Skyline was unable to meet its payroll.

The 31 Nebraska sites were placed into receivership under the care of an Omaha firm, Klaasmeyer & Associates. Klaasmeyer was tasked with overseeing operations of the facilities until a new owner was identified and/or residents are relocated to another facility. DHHS provided oversight throughout the process to ensure a safe and orderly transition and maintain the safety and well-being of residents.

That was almost a year ago and no new owner has come forward and one of the parties in the matter wants to know why.

Although Skyline operated the centers, a former owner, Golden Living owns the property.

In April of 2018, a Golden Living holding company called GPH Tekamah LLC, was allowed to join the action regarding the Tekamah site on the side of the state Department of Health and Human Services because of its property interests.

On Feb. 15 of this year, GPH Tekamah asked the court to order Klaasmeyer to submit to an independent third party audit, claiming issues have arisen with the financial aspects of the receivership that could have a significant effect on GPH and the residents at Tekamah Care, as well as the other Nebraska facilities. A telephonic hearing on the motion is set for Thursday, March 14, in front of Burt County District Judge John Samson.

In a Feb. 15, 2019, filing in Burt County District Court, GPH claims that despite efforts between itself, Houlihan Lokey (the realtor hired to sell the properties) and Klaasmeyer, GPH and Houlihan still don’t have a, “firm understanding of the financial picture of the Receivership and each individual facility as needed.”

In its motion, GPH is asking the court to allow an audit to determine how much money is being taken in by the receiver, from where, and how its being spent.

As examples of the confusion, GPH claims in its filing that the Sept. 30, 2018, financial statements showed the receivership had net income of approximately $116,100 from March 23 through Sept. 30.

The next month’s statement painted an entirely different picture, however. According to the Oct. 31 statement, the receivership had actually lost $3.332 million since its inception.

GPH also asks the court to note the ‘loss’ included what it called, “... significant amounts for rent and other lease expenses that Klaasmeyer had not, and has not, paid to GPH; accordingly, the ‘loss’ in these financial statements was not an actual reflection of the cash position or financial viability of the receivership.”

According to the filing, the most recent cash position statement showed $74,112.84 in net cash and an estimated $400,000 expected to be received for items other than outstanding accounts.

In its filing, GPH says the receivership appears financially stable, “even if the financial statements leave open significant questions that make marketing the facilities difficult.”

In order to make the facilities more financially stable, Klaasmeyer has taken steps to initiate closure of at least six of the 31 care centers. The Tekamah center is not among those being considered for closure.

In its motion to the court, GPH cites Klaasmeyer’s efforts to transfer residents from centers in Sidney, Wausa and Sorenson Care in Omaha. A DHHS spokesman confirmed to the Plaindealer that Klaasmeyer has requested closure of some facilities with permission from the district courts including the three mentioned above and centers in Norfolk and Schuyler. The Schuyler Sun, a sister paper of the Plaindealer, is reporting that the centers in Norfolk, Broken Bow and Grand Island’s Park Place facility will be closing but the Schuyler facility will stay open.

To move forward with the closure process, the receiver would provide a 60-day notification to residents and guardians, which is required by federal law, and documents would be filed in the district court asking to transfer residents and ultimately close the facility.

DHHS spokesman Leah Bucco-White told the Plaindealer that resident safety and wellbeing is a top priority throughout the receivership process. “The receiver is responsible for the transfer of residents to another facility of the residents’ choice,” she said. “DHHS has also offered its services to Klaasmeyer & Associates to help ensure a smooth transition for residents.”