Indiana’s Only Nursing Facility for AIDS Patients to Close Friday
Parkview Care Center, Indiana's only nursing home for people with AIDS, will close Friday due to "financial pressures and operating problems," leaving 17 patients to find new care facilities, the Indianapolis Star reports. The closure was announced Tuesday, three days after three board members resigned and a month after a patient died of burns he suffered after dropping a cigarette on his clothes. The death "triggered" a state inspection that resulted in more than $16,000 in fines related to patients smoking in undesignated areas, among other violations. Although the fines financially "hurt" the home, they were not the cause of the closure, according to Rev. Judith Carson, president of Parkview Hospice Corp., which owns the home. "The bottom line is financial. We just don't have the money. We were going on blind faith, and we got a sharp stick in the eye," she said, adding that a request for emergency funding was denied. The home began operating as an AIDS-specific care center in 1990 and has "struggled" financially throughout its existence. In 1999, then-owner Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Omega Healthcare Investors tried to sell the center, which was in "jeopardy," but then agreed to donate the facility to Parkview. Parkview operated the center as a not-for-profit facility, but had trouble coming up with funding. Carson blamed the failure to secure funding on several factors, including Medicaid reimbursements that did not meet costs and a declining patient population due to the success of antiretroviral drug therapies. She said that the center was also "plagued by inactive board members." Robert Bruner, a lawyer who has provided free legal assistance to Parkview, said, "You have to have enough people to be active. I advised that if they were not going to be active, they should at least resign" (Penner/Rochon, Indianapolis Star, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.