Weatherford Democrat

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May 5, 2013

Legal, financial issues besiege nursing home

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Lawsuits and bounced employee payroll checks are plaguing a local nursing home that has had its share of financial problems in recent years.

Several companies and employees are claiming Crescent Senior Care owes them money for services provided. The Democrat spoke with four employees at Crescent Senior Care who said their recent employment checks have not been honored, leaving them unable to pay rent or buy gas to go to work.

Company officials say this week’s payroll will be met and the checks honored, saying the issue responsible for the most recent incident has been resolved.

Facility administrator Douglas Meharry said recent paycheck issues stem from a holdup in receiving Medicaid funds. The company blamed the federal contractor responsible for delays in making payments to providers like Crescent.

They have been operating off Medicare and private pay money in recent months but the issue was just resolved and they are paying employees, Meharry said Wednesday.

“I haven’t even paid myself right now,” Meharry said.

All of the facility’s residents are being cared for, Meharry said, adding that the facility has plenty of food and supplies for the residents and the results of a recent annual state survey were positive. There are currently about 90 residents in the Hilltop Drive facility licensed for 132 skilled-nursing beds and 40 assisted-living beds.

Crescent employee Carole Lawson, LVN, said she’s worked at the facility since February. She said the bank notified her last week a check she received April 22 bounced. A check she wrote for rent also ended up bouncing and the family had to borrow money to pay for gas, according to Lawson.

Lawson said her calls to Crescent Senior Care were initially ignored but she was given $500 Tuesday after showing up in person. She said she filed a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission for the remaining approximately $1,000.

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