Nursing home chain says it will lease its Kentucky facilities because legislature didn’t pass bill to filter lawsuits

A major nursing-home chain says it will lease all of its Kentucky properties to a Texas company because a bill to insulate nursing homes from lawsuits did not pass the General Assembly this year,

Extendicare Health Services owns Pembroke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Shady Lawn Nursing Home in Cadiz and 19 other facilities in Kentucky, reports Nick Tabor of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville. The company has been riddled with problems. A 2009 study ranked three of its Kentucky facilities among the country’s worst nursing homes.

“The combination of a worsening litigation environment and the lack of any likelihood of tort reform in the state of Kentucky has made this the prudent decision for our company and its unitholders,” said Tim Lukenda, president and CEO of Extendicare.

In this year’s legislative session, nursing homes lobbied for a law that would have created medical review panels to evaluate potential lawsuits against nursing homes, personal-care homes and some facilities for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. The goal of the panel was to help eliminate frivolous lawsuits against the long-term care industry.

The Pembroke facility has been sued 20 times in Christian Circuit Court since 2002, and seven of the suits are still pending, Tabor reports. The others were dismissed, most with confidential settlements. (Read more)

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