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Nursing home operator fights to reopen after deadly Ida evacuation

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Nursing home operator Bob Dean is fighting to reopen several nursing homes shuttered after Hurricane Ida.

A spokeswoman for Louisiana’s health department confirmed the news to WAFB.

The appeal has a long road ahead before any action can be taken. Among those steps is the formation of a review panel by members of the state’s Division of Administration, and attorneys meeting to set a timeline to present evidence.

The evacuation of these homes to a facility in Independence is linked to several deaths, five of which have been linked to Ida’s aftermath.

In the appeal letter, Dean’s attorney, John McLindon notes the last-minute changes in the storm’s trajectory created staffing shortages and the so-called “cramped” conditions residents reported.

“The evacuation facility is actually composed of three separate buildings. Initially, residents were placed throughout the three buildings. However, when Hurricane Ida made the unexpected turn East and headed straight for Independence, personnel of the nursing homes made the decision to move residents to the strongest of the three buildings,” the appeal document states.

McLindon also noted the state’s health department approved the evacuation plans before the storm’s arrival.

In addition to losing the licenses to operate, Medicaid provider agreements were cut for Dean’s 7 homes which include:

1.) Maison DeVille Nursing Home-Houma

2.) Maison DeVille Nursing Home-Harvey

3.) Maison Orleans Health Care of New Orleans

4.) Park Place Healthcare in Jefferson Parish

5.) River Palms Nursing & Rehab in Orleans Parish

6.) South Lafourche Nursing & Rehab

7.) West Jefferson Health Care Center

McLindon maintains residents, some of who suffered complex medical conditions were never in serious danger, despite the deaths.

“There was no cruelty or indifference to the welfare of any of the residents. The nursing facilities were in substantial compliance with the nursing facility licensing laws, rules, and regulations,” the memo states.

However, family members of residents at those homes and several staffers are involved in ongoing legal disputes against Dean, arguing the opposite.

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