Guardian Angel Nursing Home to Close Its Doors

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

Things got a little heated as dozens of people gathered at the Guardian Angel Health Care of Marion to demand answers about the abrupt closing of its nursing home.

"Requirements were not met and we did not have a choice but to terminate the provider agreement between Medicaid and this facility, meaning that we will no longer pay Medicaid benefits for anyone that is a Medicaid recipient," said Patricia Holton with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.

Representatives from the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Division of Medicaid defended their decision to pull funding after state inspectors cited this nursing home with several severe violations, from alleged mistreatment of residents to improperly filing paperwork.

Nursing home officials say the allegations are exaggerated and unfair. They say the majority of the Guardian Angel residents are Medicaid patients, and with no funds coming in, the facility can't operate. State health officials say at midnight Nov. 1, .the Medicaid contract will be terminated.

"If you don't go ahead and find a place there may a lapse in your eligibility that's the issue," said Holton.

Family members wanted to know why was there such a short notice. Officials said they are only required by law to give a 15-day notice to the facility and they did that.

Nursing home officials say 20 residents have already left and now there are 70 more residents to go, plus hundreds of employees that may be without a job.

"I mean it's just ludicrous for this to happen," said Pauletta Butler, owner of Guardian Angel.

"I panicked and I don't know right now where I am going to put my mom. I put in three applications, but I haven't got any response for any of them," said Johnnie Delk, whose mother resides at Guardian Angel.

State officials say they have not taken action at this time against the license. The owner says hopefully by Nov. 10 a contract will be negotiated with another health care provider to lease the building.

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