State Senator: Stop “acting like a schoolyard bully”

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-11-23-39-amBrius owner Shlomo Rechnitz is facing fresh criticism in Humboldt County.

On November 15, 2016, California State Sen. Mike McGuire issued a press release sharply criticizing Brius’ affiliate, Rockport Healthcare Services, after learning that it had rescinded its unilateral decision to terminate its contract with Humboldt County’s Medicaid administrator, Partnership HealthPlan. In the press release, the Senator accuses Rockport of “playing games with people’s lives for months,” and “acting like a school yard bully” with its threat to shutter three Humboldt nursing homes.

Observers believe Rockport’s “confusing” turnabout is the latest failed attempt to extract higher reimbursement rates from Partnership and boost the company’s profits. Rockport’s contract termination threat would have forced hundreds of nursing home residents to negotiate individual contracts with the Medicaid system in order to remain in Brius’ nursing homes.

According to the North Coast Journal, a contract termination might also have delayed future Medicaid patients’ access to nursing home care because patients would have been forced to negotiate their admission on a case-by-case basis.

Rockport’s rescinded letters are part of a series of reversals for Rechnitz. On November 9, Shlomo Rechnitz changed course on an earlier threat to evict hundreds of medically fragile residents from multiple Humboldt County nursing homes, shutter 60% of the county’s nursing home beds, and transfer the displaced residents hundreds of miles from their family and friends.

The closure threat, first announced in August, caused great distress for hundreds of frail residents and their families. Brius delivered legal letters to more than 100 residents announcing its intention to close their nursing homes. Then, on November 8, Brius informed [LINK] state officials it was rescinding its plan to close Eureka and Seaview rehabilitation and wellness centers.