Executives of Horizon Healthcare Corp. said a report released last week that criticized the quality of care at its nursing homes is nothing more than "misinformation" by labor organizers trying to unionize Horizon employees.
"The union tried this misinformation campaign when we first announced our plans to enter Massachusetts," said Mike Jeffries, Horizon's senior vice president of operations.
In its report, Cape Cod Cares, a Hyannis, Mass.-based patient advocacy group with ties to the Service Employees International Union, said it discovered "a pattern of chronic violations of patient-care standards" at Horizon-run nursing homes in Massachusetts.
The report casts a shadow over Horizon's $1.4 billion merger proposal with Hillhaven Corp. and recommends that state nursing home regulators continue to monitor the company.
Horizon officials as well as investment analysts criticized the report's findings and claimed that Cape Code Cares previously supported the SEIU, the nation's largest healthcare workers union.
In 1993, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health denied Horizon a state license after Cape Cod Cares lobbied against it.