News

Mounting debt forces nursing home changes

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

The Seatoma Convalescent Center in Des Moines changed ownership recently, but none of the nursing home’s 142 residents had to leave, according to the state Department of Social and Health Services.

About 14 residents of an associated boarding home, however, had to move, either into the nursing home portion of the facility or into other housing, DSHS residential care administrator Pat Jennings said.

The boarding home is not expected to re-open.

Ostrom Management Service assumed management of the nursing home last week after being licensed by DSHS. The nursing home will operate under the name Stafford Healthcare.

Ostrom has been approved for Medicare and Medicaid licensing and currently has 240 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified beds, according to the company.

Seatoma administrators informed DSHS months ago they were having financial difficulties, Jennings said. They’d been working on various plans to resolve the funding crisis, she said, but finally sent a letter to DSHS informing the residential care services division they couldn’t keep up with the mounting debt.

DSHS took control of Seatoma, appointed a temporary manager and provided enough money for payroll and to ensure the facility had sufficient staffing and supplies, according to DSHS.

In addition to the payroll, Seatoma owed $225,000 to a pharmacy, about $53,934 for utilities, $18,762 to a nurse-staffing agency, $9,189 to a medical supply company, $631,693 in delinquent mortgage payments, $230,000 in delinquent fines levied by DSHS and other past due bills to food services and other vendors, according to DSHS.

Ostrom Management Service owns and operates several nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities in Puget Sound, including Stafford Suites in Kent and Sumner. “We believe Seatoma will be a good addition to our family of services,” Ostrom director of operations Jim Bennett said.

“Seatoma is perfectly located on the I-5 corridor and has many good qualities, particularly its reputation for great care,” he said. “For us, it’s a good match of Seatoma’s need and our desire to serve the needs of older people in the community.”

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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