Brius is experiencing another round of sharp criticism as its controversial effort to shutter three Humboldt County nursing homes moves one step closer to reality.
The latest criticism was triggered by the California Department of Public Health’s approval, issued September 28, of Brius’ “Closure and Relocation Plans” for the three facilities. Click here to see the CDPH’s letter to Brius regarding its Eureka, Pacific, and Seaview rehabilitation and wellness centers.
Under California law, the state agency cannot force Brius to continue operating the facilities. Instead, the agency’s responsibility is to ensure that Brius’ closure plans meet minimum state standards.
Brius’ insistence on shutting the nursing homes and evicting hundreds of frail elderly and disabled residents has drawn the ire of residents, elected officials, eldercare advocates, and others.
“This is devastating news,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood, who represents communities throughout California’s North Coast, including Humboldt County. “We are beyond disappointed that, after numerous attempts to prevent this closure, Rockport remained steadfast in walking away from more than 200 vulnerable residents and their family.”
Rockport is a Brius-owned management services company.
California’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Joe Rodrigues told the Sacramento Bee that CDPHs decision to allow the closure of these three nursing homes would have a “catastrophic impact” and added “that frail residents could suffer or even die from being uprooted and moved to faraway places.”
California Senator Mike McGuire, who in the past has referred to Brius’ closure plan as “irresponsible” and “devastating,” told the Eureka Times Standard that the simultaneous closure of so many nursing homes would “[put] the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents at risk.”
If Brius follows through with the closure plans, Humboldt County would lose 258 of its 446 skilled nursing beds – a 60 percent reduction.