- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska officials said they have taken action to protect residents of two nursing homes run by an ailing Utah company.

The office of Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said a judge in Brown County on Thursday turned over control of Ainsworth Care Center to an Omaha firm, Klaasmeyer & Associates. A judge in Burt County did the same with Logan Valley Manor in Lyons. Klaasmeyer & Associates will take over management and operation of both homes. The company already has closed two other Nebraska nursing homes, in Edgar and Exeter.

Peterson’s office sought the action at the request of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Both homes are owned by Deseret Health Group, headquartered in Bountiful, Utah. Peterson’s office said Deseret Health had told Nebraska officials that it was ceasing operation of the nursing homes.

Health and Human Services said it determined that the state needed to take control of the homes to protect the health and welfare of the residents because Deseret Health has been unable to pay staff. Peterson’s office said Ainsworth Care Center has 24 residents and the Logan Valley Manor has 12.

Several attempts by The Associated Press to reach Deseret Health officials on Friday were unsuccessful.

Last week the company gave a 60-day notice to Wyoming regulators that it will close its Rock Springs operation, and the company has notified Kansas regulators of similar intentions. The Minnesota Health Department has used its power to take over management of Deseret homes in Faribault and Owatonna.

The company operates two homes in Kansas and the two in Minnesota, the four in Nebraska, four in Utah and one in Wyoming, according to the company website.

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