Metro Nashville’s Department of Law has ordered the for-profit operator of a city-owned nursing home in Bordeaux to transfer residents to other facilities and “wind down” the operation. The city had been seeking a new company to run the complex, but no one bid.
The current operator, Louisville-based Signature HealthCARE, offered to continue managing the nursing home “contingent upon a new and mutually agreeable contract,” the company says in a statement. Signature took over in 2014.
But city officials have not been impressed with Signature, which changed the facility’s name to Nashville Community Care & Rehabilitation Center at Bordeaux. In recent years, state inspections found major infractions, including a nurses aide who broke a resident’s arm while trying to restrain the patient, and another with bruising blamed on an aide. And state regulators decided the nursing home didn’t do enough to investigate itself and enforce its abuse policy.
The facility also experienced a coronavirus outbreak with 48 cases between staff and residents, according to city statistics.
“Metro was seeking an experienced healthcare provider with a proven track record of demonstrating a commitment to high quality patient care as well as the ability to commit sufficient resources to the project,” a spokesman for Mayor John Cooper said in a statement. The city’s legal department also sent a letter to Signature Healthcare regional vice president Keith Boyce.
Signature has until early next year to move out all the patients. It has 419 licensed beds but has been operating well below its max capacity.
Getting out of the nursing home business
Outsourcing operations was an effort to step away from the management of nursing homes, which had become increasingly entangled with financing Nashville General Hospital.
Nashville was one of the last big cities still trying to run a nursing home. The plan proposed by former Mayor Karl Dean was to slowly phase out the $8 million annual subsidy over three years and let Signature run the enterprise on its own.
But two years later, Signature asked for the subsidies to continue as part of a lease extension. The city also agreed to pay $750,000 if it decided to wind down the operation at the end of the term.