New Bedford Nursing Home Sounds Alarm Over Owners

Bedford Gardens director Steven Haase said paychecks have been coming late, and at other homes operated by owner Joseph Schwartz, Schwartz hasn’t paid the phone bill.

The phones at Highland Manor Care in Fall River and Dighton Care in North Dighton both weren’t working at press time. Nor was a phone number associated with Schwartz’s company, Skyline Healthcare, which owns and operates five nursing homes in Massachusetts.

A quick Google search shows that last year Schwartz reportedly failed to make payroll at nursing homes he owns in Nebraska and Kansas. In Pennsylvania, state regulators last year appointed temporary managers to Schwartz’s homes after concerns that the company’s supposedly messy finances were putting residents at risk.

In 2013, Schwartz was sued in a Florida court for allegedly diverting employees’ healthcare premiums to himself. That suit was settled out of court in 2014.

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Health put a freeze on new admissions to Skyline’s homes. A spokesperson for the department says that residents with concerns should contact the facility’s Long Term Care Ombudsman. Those phone numbers are available online. – The public’s radio

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