According to WBS Radio and AJC report, Atlanta-based SavaSeniorCare is one of five for-profit nursing homes chains targeted in a congressional investigation launched last week to explore the coronavirus crisis in the nation’s long-term care facilities. SavaSeniorCare is the parent company of Rome Health and Rehabilitation Center located at 1345 Redmond Road.
Rep. James Clyburn, chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent Sava’s CEO Jerry Roles a 10-page letter asking detailed questions about the company’s operations and its handling of the pandemic. According to the letter, more than 300 have died in facilities owned by SavaSeniorCare.
The letter cites a large outbreak at Sava’s Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center in Augusta as an example. As of Friday, 76 residents and 42 staff at the home have tested positive and 11 residents have died after being confirmed for COVID-19.
At Rome Health and Rehab, a total of 25 residents and 38 staff members have tested positive and 5 residents have died, according to the latest Long-Term Care Report on Friday.
Sava has 13 nursing homes across Georgia, and nearly half have had major outbreaks, the AJC found. At Roselane Health and Rehabilitation Center in Marietta, 99 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 14 died. At Sandy Springs Health and Rehabilitation, 66 have tested positive and 13 have died, according to the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Some Sava nursing homes in other states have also had major outbreaks and large numbers of deaths, including almost all of its facilities in Maryland and Michigan, according to federal data. At one Pennsylvania facility, 173 residents were infected, and 48 died.
Sava told the AJC Saturday it was still considering how it would handle Clyburn’s request for information. It only received the letter today, said Annaliese Impink, spokesperson for SavaSeniorCare Consulting.
“While we will likely cooperate, we are weighing our options and will determine our next steps,” Impink said.
Sava said its nursing homes continue to work hard to prevent the spread of the virus to residents and staff. “The centers are following the infection control guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and state and local health departments,” Impink said. “We appreciate all of the efforts of our client center staff as they work day in and day out to care for those that we have the privilege to serve.”
Clyburn said he opened the investigation after hearing testimony about lax oversight by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the federal government’s failure to provide adequate testing supplies, masks, gowns and other protective equipment.
Experts briefing the subcommittee, Clyburn wrote, also described how under-staffing, low pay and a lack of paid leave for workers may have contributed to the crisis.
The four other nursing home chains targeted in the investigation are Genesis HealthCare, Life Care Centers of America, Ensign Group and Consulate Healthcare. Together with Sava, they are the five largest for-profit nursing home chains in the nation, according to the announcement.