Ownership of local Consulate facilities is unclear
The breakup of one of the largest companies operating nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in Florida has affected three centers in Polk County, although the details remain murky.
Consulate Health Care Services, which previously operated about 80 facilities in Florida, no longer lists any locations for the state. The company removed listings for Consulate Health Care of Lakeland, Consulate Health Care at Lake Parker and Consulate Health Care of Winter Haven.
Consulate, based in Maitland, has split into four companies, the Tampa Bay Times reported in January. Consulate, once among the 10 largest such companies in the country, had been under investigation by the Department of Justice and made the changes after filing for bankruptcy, the Times reported.
The company faced a potential penalty of $258 million for violations of the False Claims Act, the Times reported, but instead agreed to pay just $4.5 million after filing for bankruptcy. A judge approved that arrangement in September, the Times reported.
The restructuring resulted in three new companies: Raydiant Health Care, Independence Living Centers and NSPIRE Health Care, the Times reported.
As of Friday, the websites for Raydiant, Independence and NSPIRE listed dozens of locations in Florida but none in Polk County. Records with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, showed that no change of ownership has been recorded for the three Consulate facilities in Polk County.
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Consulate did not respond to a request for information from The Ledger. Employees who answered phone calls at the local facilities declined to confirm any details of changes, including potential name changes for the centers.
Employees at the Lakeland and Lake Parker facilities said they would pass the requests to a corporate office, but The Ledger did not hear back from anyone.
As of last week, the name “Consulate” still appeared on signs at the two Lakeland facilities, one at 5245 N. Socrum Loop Road and the other at 202 W. Lake Parker Drive.
Tracking down the new owners
Records posted on the AHCA website show that the three local Consulate facilities have been managed since December by Lidenskab LLC, a Florida company incorporated in September. The controlling interest for Lidenskab is Onetete LLC, according to AHCA records.
The latter company was also incorporated in September, and state records show it has the same Orlando mailing address as Lidenskab. But a letter of organization recorded with the state for Lidenskab lists its address as one belonging to Lake Mary Health and Rehabilitation Center in Seminole County.
An employee who answered at that facility said it is owned by Raydiant. She provided a number for what she described as the corporate office. A call to that number eventually led to the voicemail for Jennifer Trapp, listed as vice president of brand management for Synergy HCS and a former Consulate spokesperson.
Trapp did not respond to a voicemail left Thursday afternoon.
Several former Consulate executives left late last year to join Synergy Health Care Services, a newly formed company based in Atlanta, Skilled Nursing News reported. Synergy HCS describes itself on its LinkedIn page as a “trusted consultant” to post-acute care facilities in multiple states.
Trapp said that Synergy is an independent company that contracts with Consulate, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
All three of the Polk County facilities are licensed for 120 beds, according to AHCA records, and are listed as for-profit centers.
The three Consulate facilities had among the highest COVID-related death totals of any long-term care centers in Polk County in the first stages of the pandemic. As of last May, AHCA had recorded 20 deaths of residents or staff at the Winter Haven facility, 16 at Lake Parker and 12 at Consulate Lakeland.
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The state agency ceased reporting deaths at individual facilities last summer.
AHCA has fined the Lake Parker facility at least six times since its last change of ownership in 2012, according to records on the agency’s website. The most serious was a $21,000 fine in 2019 for failing to follow resuscitation orders for a resident who died of respiratory distress the previous year.
Consulate Lakeland has been fined at least three times since 2012, according to AHCA records. Those include a fine of $18,500 imposed last year after the agency cited the center for a “Class 1 deficiency” in failing to respond adequately before the death of a resident in October 2020.
AHCA also changed the facility’s licensing status from standard to conditional for more than three months.
The Winter Haven facility has been fined at least five times since 2012, state records show. AHCA levied a fine of $16,000 last year for failing to follow a resident’s “do not resuscitate” order. The agency also imposed reviews of the facility every six months for two years.
In an unrelated move, another local long-term care facility has undergone a change of ownership.
The former Oakbridge Health Care Center at 3110 Oakbridge Blvd. E. in Lakeland is now Bridgewalk on Harden Health and Rehabilitation. The 120-bed facility changed ownership in December, according to AHCA records.
Louis F. Garrard V, owner of Auburndale-based Mainstay Senior Living, is listed as Bridgewalk’s owner in state records. Mainstay also owns Grace Manor at Lake Morton.