Senator McGuire responds to proposed ‘dangerous’ closures of Humboldt skilled nursing facilities

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sacramento, CA – With word of potentially dangerous closures of three skilled nursing facilities in the greater Humboldt Bay region, Senator Mike McGuire is urging the state Department of Public Health to reject Rockport Management's closure plan. McGuire is spending the week meeting with several stakeholder groups to work on solutions, both short term and long term.

“I am deeply concerned about these potential closures because it will put patient safety at risk and leave Humboldt communities vulnerable,” Senator McGuire said. “If Rockport Management moves forward with this closure plan, the health of hundreds could be compromised; skilled nursing care would be severely limited and current residents of the facilities would be moved hundreds of miles from loved ones. The entire Humboldt Bay region would be served with just two skilled nursing facilities, which is simply unacceptable.”

The proposed closure of these three facilities would take the number of skilled nursing beds available to some of Humboldt’s most vulnerable residents from 449 to 191. This is a reduction of 58 percent.

This week, Senator McGuire will be holding several meetings with those who would be impacted by the closure, including Partnership HealthPlan, Redwood Coast PACE, the Humboldt-Del Norte Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and others to work on solutions.

Today, Senator McGuire sent a letter to the California Department of Public Health urging the state to use its authority to reject the closure plans and calling out the skilled nursing facility management company for not fully developing its closure proposal and alternatives to closure. McGuire's letter is attached to this message.

“Although the business climate may not be satisfactory for Rockport Management, there are options that have not yet been fully explored that may allow them the ability to manage the facilities in a prudent and fiscally sound manner,” the letter stated. “I urge the department to reject the submitted closure plans. The community and other potential operators must be given more time to develop contingency plans to ensure patient safety.”

Senator McGuire’s letter to the California Department of Public Health is attached.