New England Health Center announces impending closure

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliNew England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland has announced it will close on Feb. 2, 2019.

Recorder Staff
Published: 10/8/2018 4:43:18 PM

SUNDERLAND – New England Health Center, formerly Cozy Corner Nursing Home, announced Monday it will close Feb. 2.

“Our number one focus is finding a suitable new home for our residents and finding new jobs for our staff,” the owners of the skilled nurse and rehabilitation facility at 61 Old Amherst Road said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, reduced (Medicare) reimbursements and a changing continuum of care model is resulting in many skilled nursing facilities, like ours, to close,” the owners said in the statement.

The facility is owned by Synergy Health Centers of Toms River, N.J., which purchased it in 2012.

The owners were unavailable for additional comment, and the manager at the center did not want to comment.

In 2015, The Recorder reported that the nursing home had received some poor government inspection reports since the out-of-state company had purchased it three years earlier. At that time, the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which oversee both the federal Medicare program and quality standards in nursing homes, gave the agency’s lowest overall rating of “much below average” to New England Health Center. The facility’s rating for health inspections was “much below average,” while it scored “average” in both the staffing and quality measures categories.

More current inspection reports were unavailable on Monday.

New England Health Center was among 10 care facilities in Massachusetts bought by Synergy Health Centers LCC between 2012 and 2015 that were the focus of a report in the Boston Globe examining poor conditions and complaints at nursing home chains across the state.

The nursing home was purchased by the New Jersey-based company owned by Zisha Lipschutz of New York and Dov Newmark of New Jersey, at the time, in 2012 for $1 million. The previous owner, Bruce Bednarski, had managed it since 2005, and it was founded by his parents in the 1950s.

Federal inspection reports from 2012 until 2014 showed that the nursing home had consistently had more problems identified than the state average. In 2012, the inspection turned up seven violations, which matched the national average. In 2013, the facility nearly quadrupled the Massachusetts average with 15 violations, but it fared better in 2014 with five violations.

On Feb. 14, 2016, a burst sprinkler pipe poured gallons of water into the health care facility, creating a problem that was quickly remedied. A year earlier, 40 residents were evacuated from the center after a water main broke, flooding the facility. Nobody was injured, and any residents who needed medical care as a routine part of their care at the facility were taken to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield or Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. Everyone else was taken to the First Congregational Church at 91 South Main St. in the center of Sunderland.

In July 2016, Braemoor Health Center, a Brockton facility owned by Synergy Health Centers, was fined $200,000 and ordered not to accept new patients because of an “immediate jeopardy” finding triggered by a failure to respond to a heart attack and a case of respiratory arrest. In April of that year, Synergy was fined $288,400 for safety and health violations related to the deaths of two residents at its Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington.

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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