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Workers to Protest Falmouth Center Closure

Genesis HealthCare is set to close the facility in May.

Falmouth Center, which is operated by Genesis HealthCare. Credit: Genesis HealthCare
Falmouth Center, which is operated by Genesis HealthCare. Credit: Genesis HealthCare

Falmouth Center workers on Wednesday said they will protest the health care facility's planned closure.

The workers said they will protest outside the Jones Road facility today from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The facility is operated by Genesis HealthCare and scheduled to close in May. The company said the Falmouth location was too expensive to continue operating, according to CapeCodOnline.com.

Below is a news release on today's planned protest:

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Healthcare workers say Genesis HealthCare, the largest nursing home chain in the country, owes answers to residents, family members, and caregivers about the closure. Specifically, what their intentions are regarding resident transfer and whether workers who have dedicated their lives to the Falmouth facility will be allowed to transfer to similar jobs at nearby Genesis facilities.

Recently, Genesis has been under fire for paying many of its workers poverty wages and for failing to provide affordable health coverage for its employee in an effort to shift those employee costs to public health insurance products.

Concerns have surfaced about staffing levels and care ratings at nearby Genesis facilities, which according to Medicare data, appear to be inferior to the level of care provided at Falmouth Center.

Nearby Mashpee Center, where it is suspected Genesis will try to transfer some workers, received a one star rating by Medicare.gov. Mashpee’s staffing score is only 2-stars, while Falmouth’s staffing is 4 out of 5 stars. This information, along with other data, has prompted some caregivers to question whether the closure of Falmouth is in the residents’ best interest.

Healthcare workers say Genesis is failing to adequately address questions and concerns raised by caregivers and family members regarding what the proposed closure could mean for residents at the home.

Genesis is now the largest nursing home chain in the country and the state. Healthcare workers who are members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East have proposed legislation to allow more public input regarding nursing home closures. That bill (An Act to Standardize the Regulation of Skilled Nursing Facilities, S.287) has been favorably reported out of the Elder Affairs committee and is currently being considered by the Healthcare Finance Committee. 

Workers say the home in Falmouth should only be closed as a “last resort” and are not yet convinced that is the case. As a company, Genesis owned more than 30 nursing homes in Massachusetts and more than 400 across the United States. Genesis has recently closed several other Massachusetts nursing homes, including Hammond House (Worcester), Rosewood Center (Fall River), and Glenwood Center (Lowell), and is now seeking to close Falmouth Center.

Caregivers are raising questions about the company’s ultimate intentions in Massachusetts and whether it is putting resident care first or whether residents are becoming an afterthought to the company’s consolidation and growth strategies. 

Questions have also arisen about whether Genesis HealthCare or its affiliated companies plan to sell the property of Falmouth Center and whether the uprooting of residents is necessary if another company will be taking over the property for long-term care purposes.

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