Massachusetts health officials have granted Horizon Healthcare Corp. a probationary license to operate in the state, clearing the way for the Albuquerque, N.M.-based nursing home chain to complete its $85 million merger with Greenery Rehabilitation Group.
"Horizon's appeal was going to go into litigation," said Andrew Levine, assistant commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "We had a strong case, but there's always a chance Horizon could have won. This way, Horizon can't come in and operate its facilities carte blanche."
In December, the department denied Horizon a state nursing home license, citing evidence of poor patient care and public health violations at three Horizon-operated nursing facilities in California and Ohio (Jan. 3, p. 17).
The decision temporarily delayed Horizon's merger with Greenery, which operates 21 facilities nationwide, eight of them in Massachusetts.
Horizon appealed the case, prompting the state to agree on an 18-month probationary license. The company said it was pleased with the agreement.