The New Mexico Health and Human Services Department announced Thursday it will go to Curry County District Court at 2 p.m. today asking that the agency be granted permanent receivership of Buena Vista Nursing Home.
Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Parker earlier granted the state temporary receivership pending today’s court hearing. In a press release, Secretary of Health Patricia Montoya said her department will produce “overwhelming” evidence buttressing its claim that the state needs to take over Buena Vista.
“This facility has a number of financial issues that put client health and safety at risk,” Montoya said. “These issues range from the ability to bring food into the facility to proper maintenance of the building to the treatment of the clients. As a result, clients have not been cared for appropriately.”
Buena Vista’s owner and medical director, Dr. Ali Ghaffari, declined comment Thursday night citing the advice of his attorney. In previous interviews Ghaffari provided point-by point rebuttals of claims made by state officials in the news media regarding his facility.
Since Parker granted temporary receivership to the state on May 21, the Department of Health contracted with Peak Medical Services of Albuquerque to manage the facility. Since then the company has been doing an internal audit of conditions at Buena Vista including patient care, financial stability, building maintenance and other health and safety factors. Montoya said the results of that audit will be presented as part of today’s hearing.