Kermit Healthcare Center Closing Its Doors

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Kermit residents who have family members staying at the Kermit Healthcare Center are hoping for a real solution to a major money problem. They said they're hoping for a new buyer for the facility, or else they'll be forced to move their family members elsewhere.

"It kind of shocked us to find out that they were going to close, because it's going to affect a lot of people," said Julio Peña Jr., whose father has been in the nursing home since last February.  "I mean it's not just going to affect the residents, it's going to affect people that work there and, that are employed and everything else."

Peña said he first heard about the Kermit nursing home's closing this past Tuesday. He along with other Kermit residents with family in the facility said the CEO showed up at the family council meeting with the news.

"He explained the financial trouble that the facility was in, and that they were planning on looking for other buyers and going to the hospital board and see what they could do," explained Misty Williams, whose husband's grandmother is in the facility.

Those in charge at the nursing home told NewsWest 9 Monday they've been losing money the last two years. However, City and County officials have not found a local buyer. And that means residents moving elsewhere.

"There's no other place close. We're either going to have to go to Odessa, Monahans, or Andrews," said Peña.

But a money problem at a nursing home isn't just in Kermit. Representatives with the facility said reimbursement for Medicaid is really low in Texas. And it's one of the biggest reasons they're shutting down, leaving family members frustrated.

"Why? The Medicare and Medicaid pay for her to stay here. And why [is Texas] 47th on returning the money to the facilities so they can continue to operate," said Williams.

And a new owner won't change that.

"If the reimbursement from the State isn't any better than that, what's to say that they're not going to be in the same predicament? My main thing is we've got to get these facilities paid and paid accurately," explained Williams.

Those in charge of the Healthcare Center said they've tried their best to find a solution to this problem. They were hoping that some local West Texas business or entity would step up and buy it, but so far, there are no signs of that happening.