- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) - A small nursing home in a southern New Mexico community is closing as its owner defends itself against complaints tied to staffing levels.

The 28 residents of Sunshine Haven must find new housing and care before the 67-bed facility shuts down Aug. 3. New residents haven’t been accepted since June 1.

“We realize this isn’t an easy process for the residents or their families,” Joshua Martin, a spokesman for the consulting group that manages the nursing facility, wrote to the Las Cruces Sun-News. “We are doing everything we can to help ensure a safe, comfortable and smooth transition for them to a new home.”

Sunshine Haven is owned by Plano, Texas-based Preferred Care Inc., and managed by Preferred Care Partners Management Group Consulting.

The company and its subsidiaries have run into financial and legal trouble lately, filing for bankruptcy protection.

Inspectors with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have noted multiple deficiencies at Sunshine Haven in recent years, including allegations of neglect involving dental, eye and other medical care, sanitation and insufficient staffing. The agency fined Sunshine Haven nearly $45,000 in 2016 and $26,000 last year.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas sued Preferred Care in 2015 when the company ran nearly a dozen nursing homes in the state. The allegations included residents rarely being bathed, unsanitary sheets and staff shortages.

Martin declined this week to specify current staffing levels but said they are above limits set by the state.

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