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Prism sheds three of its facilities

Company blames state for late payments

Published: Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 8:37 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 9:20 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

DIXON — Blaming the state for late payments, Prism Healthcare Management Group Monday shed its facilities in Dixon, Amboy and Matoon.

Executives said the transition wouldn't disrupt patient care.

The Dixon Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center now is under the management of Kansas City-based Tutera Group, which owns the building and managed the nursing home before.

The Amboy Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center now is under bank receivership.

Morris-based Prism Healthcare Management Group had been managing the two nursing homes the last few years. Prism leased Dixon's facility and owned Amboy's.

Besides Dixon and Amboy, it also stopped operating a nursing home in Matoon. It still owns a nursing home and an assisted care facility in Morris.

Prism CEO Lewis Borsellino pointed the finger at the state for his company's problems.

"I don't know how people can expect us to provide quality health care when 50 percent of our residents are on Medicaid and the state says we can't pay you for 6 months. This is what happened in our great state government. If you think I'm bitter, I am," he said.

The state's payments are supposed to amount to $450,000 a month, so when they're delayed, that severely affects cash flow, Borsellino said.

Last year, employees of the local nursing homes reported their paychecks bounced a few times. The company said that was because the state closed their bank, First Chicago Bank & Trust in Chicago, on July 8, a few days before Prism's payroll.

The bank was put into federal receivership. That affected Prism's line of credit, the company said.

Borsellino said Prism had struggled to get another line of credit. Banks didn't want to lend to nursing homes in Illinois because of the state's financial problems, he said.

He said he decided to shed the nursing homes because he didn't want to jeopardize patient care.

"The only one who suffers is me. The state of Illinois forced me out of business," he said. "It'll cost me millions of dollars because the bank will go after me on personal guarantees.

The company's new bank, Wintrust Financial Corp., took receivership of the Amboy nursing home. It hired a management company to run the facility, Borsellino said.

Randy Bloom, president and CEO of Tutera's healthcare division, said his firm has worked closely with Prism in the transition.

"This is not a hostile situation in any shape or form. We know they've done a good job in Dixon. We want to continue what they've done. The employees will remain the same," Bloom said. "There will be no disruption for residents or families.

He said the state of Illinois is in the loop on the transition.

The Amboy and Dixon nursing homes have about 100 beds each, Borsellino said. Dixon has 130 employees, while Amboy has 80, he said.

In October, when employees complained about their paychecks bouncing, the company blamed the process of changing banks after First Chicago closed.

At the time, the workers feared Prism was suffering money issues. The company said that wasn't the case.

"We're financially fine," Kim Westerkamp, Prism's chief operating officer, said in an October interview.

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