Northview Village, the largest nursing home in St. Louis, closed abruptly on Friday displacing 170 residents, with loved ones not immediately able to find them.
Ahead of the closure, there was no warning for employees or residents alike as workers learned they might not be paid at the end of last week, leading to staff walking out of the facility to the confusion of residents and their relatives, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.
More than 130 staff went unpaid, the report noted. Staff received emails over the weekend from Northview that checks were forthcoming before finding out payments weren’t coming at all, according to Marjorie Moore, executive director for St. Louis ombudsman agency VOYCE.
Lenny Jones, state director for the Service Employees International Union Healthcare union, said the shutdown began when employees voiced their concerns on missing paychecks.
“They ran out of money to make payroll, caused this massive disruption, and just quickly moved forward with their goal, which was to shutter this facility,” Jones told AP. “You would have to have been planning to move 175 residents in the dead of night.”
Northview was a “safety net” nursing home, Moore told AP, a way to keep people from falling through the cracks. The property is licensed for up to 320 beds. Many residents are on Medicaid and are unable to get into other long-term care facilities. Northview also houses many people with behavioral problems.
Healthcare Accounting Services (HAS) owns Northview along with five other properties between Illinois and Missouri. A representative for HAS told Skilled Nursing News the company has no comment on Northview and is leaving any action in the hands of its lawyers. The representative was unsure which law firm represents them.
Northview has been fined 12 times for federal violations since March 2021, the AP report found. Fines totaled more than $140,000 and ranged between $2,200 and upward of $45,000. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gives Northview one star on Care Compare.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services lists nearly two dozen investigations into Northview since 2016. The agency was notified around 4:15 on Friday that the nursing home was closing, spokeswoman Lisa Cox said. Northview had implemented an evacuation plan and emergency medical service workers to relocate residents, Cox told AP.
The last resident left the property before 6 a.m. on Saturday – at least 15 nearby nursing homes including Superior Manor had former Northview residents show up without paperwork documenting their medical histories or medication needs.